Research FundingSecond Funding Period for Research Training Group in Interdisciplinary American Studies

Press Release No. 115/2021
11 November 2021

Research Training Group at Heidelberg University receives DFG funds totalling approx. 4.3 million euros

The Research Training Group (RTG) “Authority and Trust in American Culture, Society, History and Politics” situated in the field of interdisciplinary American Studies is set to continue its successful work in a second funding period. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funding of approx. 4.3 million euros for a period of four and a half years. RTG 2244 is located at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies and staffed by ten researchers from geography, history and history of religion, philosophy, literature and cultural studies, as well as political science and economics. Prof. Dr Günter Leypoldt from Heidelberg University’s Department of English and Prof. Dr Ulrike Gerhard from the Institute of Geography serve as spokespersons for the RTG.

The research programme focuses on the emergence and transformation of authority in government and civil society, social institutions, urban spaces, culture and religion, as well as shifting configurations of trust within the United States and in the overarching sphere of transatlantic relations. “The topicality of this issue is still evident,” Prof. Leypoldt emphasises, referring to the most recent crises of authority and trust in the United States, which, he says, have had consequences for the position of the country as a global power. An analysis of these crises also promises “fundamental insights into the relationship between authority and trust in modern societies”. The spokesperson of the Research Training Group further underlines that the RTG will continue its work with a sharper profile, strengthened by more research on economic history (Prof. Dr Welf Werner), social philosophy and philosophy of religion (PD Dr Magnus Schlette) and on ethnicity and migration in urban areas in Anglo and Latin America (Junior Professor Dr Soledad Álvarez Velasco).

The second funding period, which starts in April 2022, comprises two training rounds with ten doctoral candidates each and six “research students” who can gain insights into research practice as graduate assistants. In addition, two post-doc positions will be located at the Research Training Group.