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22 June 2004

Internationales Wissenschaftsforum der Universität Heidelberg Celebrates 1,000th Event with a Symposium

University of Heidelberg extends a cordial invitation to the media — Beginning 9 a.m., 25 June 2004: "Civilizing America: Manners and Civility as Categories of Social, Cultural and Literary Analysis"

After 18 years of activity, the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum der Universitšt Heidelberg will be organising its 1,000th event in June. The symposium "Civilizing America: Manners and Civility as Categories of Social, Cultural and Literary Analysis" will take place under the directorship of Professor Dr. Dietmar Schloss (Department of English and American Studies), who has invited 40 renowned scholars from the United States, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and various German universities to participate. The University of Heidelberg extends a cordial invitation to the media (begins 25 June, 9 a.m., Hauptstrasse 242, 69117 Heidelberg).

The "manners" concept plays a significant role in Renaissance and 18th century social theory. In addition, it was a major factor in American literature and literary theory until the early 20th century. The aim of the symposium is to spark off a new debate on the manners paradigm and the contribution it has made to American cultural sociology.

This species of cultural sociology represents a necessary corrective to various liberal and democratic notions of America as "nature's nation" that have left a decisive mark on public and academic discussion on the United States. The lectures in the first part of the conference enlarge on the (European) history of the manners concept. In the second (and major) part, the focus will be on manners in America. There will be talks on almost all the relevant epochs, from the colonial age to post-modernism.

In this way, the symposium sets out to provide as comprehensive and detailed a survey of the various meanings given to the idea of manners in American society throughout its history. In addition, there will be exhaustive discussion of special affinities between literature and the society of manners, on the one hand, and between a sociology of manners and modern cultural studies approaches on the other.

Please address any inquiries to
Dr. Theresa Reiter (International Science Forum)
phone: 06221/543690/91, fax: 165896

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

Friday, June 25, 2004
Internationales Wissenschaftsforum
Hauptstraße 242, 69117 Heidelberg

European Theories of Manners
Manfred Hinz, University of Passau
"Castiglione, Gracián, and the Foundation of Gentlemanly Manners"
Peter Paul Schnierer, University of Heidelberg
"Masterless but Mannerly: Decorum and Order in the Sixteenth-Century English Underclass"
Coffee Break
Lawrence Klein, Cambridge University
"Addisonianism: Joseph Addison in Eighteenth-Century Culture"
Vera Nünning, University of Heidelberg
"Civilizing Women? Women, Morals, and Manners in Eighteenth-Century Britain"
David S. Shields, University of South Carolina, Columbia
"Cursing the Company: The Aesthetics of Social Disgust in Eighteenth- Century Anglo Society"
Coffee Break
Manners in America
Dieter Schulz, University of Heidelberg
"Puritan Origins of American Civility"
William M. Verhoeven, University of Groningen
"'The Condition of Our Country': Self-Control and Discipline in Charles Brockden Brown's National Tales"
Herwig Friedl, University of Düsseldorf
"Manners and Conduct: Thoughts, Visions, and Intuitions of the American Renaissance"
Dinner at Haus Buhl, Hauptstraße 232, 69117 Heidelberg

Saturday, June 26, 2004
Susan Winnett, University of Hamburg
"A thin, transparent veil": Manners and the Nineteenth-Century American Novel"
Bettina Friedl, University of Hamburg
"Social Masquerade: The Code of Dress and the American Novel of Manners"
Coffee Break
Sergio Perosa, University of Venice
"Manners and Morals in Henry James and Others"
Kurt Müller, University of Jena
"Investigating the Power of Performance: Manners and Civility in American Naturalism"
Winfried Fluck, Free University, Berlin
"Modernity and American Manners"
Coffee Break
Winfried Herget, University of Mainz
"American Advice Culture à la Miss Lonelyhearts"
Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, University of Heidelberg
"Civilizing Gardens, Fructifying Hybridity, and Cultural Crosspollination in Leslie Marmon Silko's Gardens in the Dunes"
Heinz Ickstadt, Free University, Berlin
"Manners and Contemporary American Fiction"

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