Frankfurt am Main might be well-known for its airport, the European Central Bank and the stock exchange, but there are more reasons why Frankfurt is a multi-cultural and international place: The city boasts numerous cultural activities that are especially appealing to students of the Humanities. Frankfurt still feels like a fresh discovery amongst already established creative centres across Germany.
Frankfurt’s interesting combination of a growing creative scene in an economically thriving surrounding can be explored in different cultural institutions. Various museums are located on the Museumsufer, such as the Schirn Kunsthalle, Städel Museum, Deutsches Filmmuseum and the Museum für Moderne Kunst. 20 different theatre playhouses and cinemas, almost 30 different independent drama groups and art house cinemas that show German and foreign-language movies make for a rich cultural experience. The Deutsches Jazzfestival is the oldest jazz festival and takes place in Frankfurt every year. Since it’s J.W. Goethe’s birthplace, literature plays a significant role in Frankfurt’s cultural landscape as well: the Literaturhaus, the Suhrkamp archive, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, several publishing houses and, of course, the famous Frankfurt Book Fair are only a few examples of an active literary scene.
The Department of English and American Studies (IEAS) has been part of Goethe University for more than 50 years and is internationally known for its research projects. Students can explore courses on, for example, “The Beat Generation", "Violence, Resistance, Subversion in African American Fiction" and "Sum Fistful of Music: Videos You Gotta Analyze Before the Term Ends". The IEAS hosts its own drama group (Chaincourt Theatre) and an annual anthology (Poetic Voices) that s present students’ own poetic compositions. The Department of English and American Studies is supported by the Calliopean Society, and the so-called Institutsgruppe comprises an open group of students to represent the students’ interests, to meet and discuss new ideas for the department. And this is just a glimpse at all the different activities students can participate in beyond and in addition to the curriculum.
Our department consists of three divisions that cover American Studies, English Studies and New English Literature and Cultures (NELK). The IEAS’ American Studies branch is one of the oldest in Germany that emphasises interdisciplinary approaches and cooperates with the Centre for North American Studies. English Studies at Goethe University have been one of the first in Germany to focus on the English cultural and social history as well as a history of ideas in addition to English literature and literary studies. Another unique feature of our department is the possibility for students to specialise in literature and cultures of the former British Commonwealth (Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean and Pacific) as well as postcolonial studies and migration culture. NELK, New English Literature and Cultures, offers courses on English as a global language, its transnational and transcultural dimensions as well as new perspectives on Anglophone literature with regard to ideas of modernity.