Images of America - Reality and Stereotypes




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Feb 14, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Images of America - Reality and Stereotypes

Latest session report of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association now available

A report of the fourteenth symposium held by the Salzburg Seminar America Studies Association is now available to read, download, and share.

Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes took place at Salzburg Global Seminar between September 23 and September 27, 2016.

The session reviewed the ambivalent, conflicting and contradicting images of America worldwide.

This program included 58 participants from 25 countries. Among those invited were academics, post-doctoral students, journalists, and diplomats. The program was supported by eleven US embassies and consulates, as well as the Austrian Association for American Studies, the Emory Elliott Scholarship Fund and the United States Airforce Academy.

During the session, participants were treated to thematic presentations by distinguished speakers and panel discussions. Participants also split up into small theme-based focus groups, reviewing various topics related to the session's theme. 

Participants described and discussed the nature and sources of conflicting images, while remembering the images of America are what they are seen to be in the eyes of the viewer, regardless of the actual reality.

America is portrayed through many different mediums, perhaps more so than ever before. The purpose of this session was to discuss the origins and implications of the various images of America. The major outcome was to enable critical thinking about how images and stereotypes contribute to or complicate relations with others. 

Salzburg Global Seminar was founded in 1947 as the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies. The study of America has played a significant role in the organization's history. Minds from all sectors and backgrounds met in Salzburg over several decades to discuss American politics, foreign policy, economics, and much more.

From 1994 to 2003, the Center for Academic Studies focused sessions on research for new curriculum. A decade later, the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA) was established to continue this work. Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes was the fourteenth program since the Association began operating in 2014.

Download the SSASA Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes report (PDF)

The Salzburg Global session, Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes is part of the multi-year series Salzburg Global Seminar American Studies Association (SSASA). More information on previous sessions can be found here.