John Dean is Professor of American Studies and Cultural History at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France. He previously co-chaired the American Studies Program at the University of Strasbourg and was Director of Crosscultural Studies at the University of Syracuse, Strasbourg campus. Dr. Dean has directed courses on U.S. cultural studies and given guest lectures at teacher training workshops in Germany and throughout Europe from Sicily to Denmark. He was a resident scholar at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Michigan (2002–2005), as well as at the Center for Middletown Studies at Ball State University, Indiana (1998, 2003), and at the Center for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz (2001). His research topics include heroism studies, the sociology of mass media, American youth culture’s evolution in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, techniques for visual decoding American icons, patterns of corruption and violence in the U.S., and ultimately U.S. social reform as traced and illustrated via U.S. popular culture. Professor Dean’s most recent publications include “Heroes in a World of Global Connection: U.S. and European Heroism Compared” in Susan J. Drucker and Gary Gumpert, eds., Heroes in a Global World, Cresskill, NJ, 2008; Le Crime organisé, de la prohibition à la guerre froide, Paris 2002 (coedited with Jacques Pothier); Médias et technologies, l’exemple des États-Unis, Paris 2001 (coedited with Francis Bordat, Robert Conrath, et.al.; Les médias et l’information aux États-Unis depuis 1945, Paris 1997; and European Readings of American Popular Culture, Westport, CT, 1996 (editor)
David Goldfield teaches history at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland. Since 1982, he has been Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History at the University of North Carolina. He is the author or editor of eleven books on various aspects of southern and urban history. Two of his works—Cotton Fields and Skyscrapers: Southern City and Region, 1607–1980 (1982) and Black, White, and Southern: Race Relations and Southern Culture, 1940 to the Present (1990)—received the Mayflower Award for nonfiction. Both books were also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in history. Professor Goldfield’s research interests include the American South, Urban History and the Civil War era. Among his recent publications are The American Journey: A History of the United States, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2009 (with Carl Abbott and Virginia DeJohn Anderson); Southern Histories: Public, Personal, and Sacred, Athens, GA, 2003, and Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History, Baton Rouge, LA, 2002. He is also the editor of the Encyclopedia of American Urban History, Thousand Oaks, CA, 2007. His current research project focuses on the “Rebirth of a Nation: America during the Civil War Era.”
Reinhard Isensee has earned his Ph.D. in American Literature from Humboldt University in Berlin. He has been a faculty member at the American Studies Program at Humboldt University for many years and has taught lectures and seminars on various topics of American literature, culture, and history. He pursued his post-doctoral research in 20th-century American adolescent literature and completed his Habilitation in 2001. It was published as The Other Reader: Erzählkonstruktionen im Jugendroman der USA seit den 1960er Jahren, Frankfurt am Main 2003. With a particular interest in transatlantic and transnational issues, Reinhard Isensee has more recently focused his research on visual media with a special emphasis on the cultural work of digital media. His recent publications include Picturing America: Trauma, Realism, Politics and Identity in American Visual Culture, Frankfurt am Main 2007 (coedited with Antje Dallmann and Philipp Kneis) and Transcultural Visions of Identities in Images and Texts: Transatlantic American Studies, Heidelberg 2008 (coedited with Wilfried Raussert). Dr. Isensee has repeatedly held guest professorships at colleges and universities in the United States and in Europe.
Christine Meißner works as an instructor at the Abendgymnasium Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, and has been teaching languages in diverse adult education settings. She studied English and Dutch at the University of Leipzig and is currently working on a project that examines neuroscientific aspects of second chance education. Christine Meißner also carried out a pilot study about coaching for adult learners in a formal learning process, qualifying teachers as coaches to eliminate barriers toward learning. She is a prolific text book author with the well-known educational publishing house Klett.
Jörg Nagler is Professor of American History at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. He received his Ph.D. in history in 1984 and his Habilitation in 1997 at the University of Kiel. He worked for the Public Affairs division at the American Embassy in Bonn, was a research associate at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. and served as director of the Kennedy Haus in Kiel. Jörg Nagler held guest professorships at the University of Maryland and at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC. His research focuses on nineteenth-century U.S. history, immigration history, African American history, and the Civil War. He is the author of Abraham Lincoln: Amerikas großer Präsident—Eine Biographie, München 2009. Among his other publications are Nationale und Internationale Perspektiven amerikanischer Geschichte: Eine Festschrift für Peter Schäfer, Frankfurt am Main 2002 (editor); Nationale Minoritäten im Krieg: “Feindliche Ausländer” und die amerikanische Heimatfront während des Ersten Weltkrieges, Hamburg 2000; On the Road to Total War: The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification, 1861–1871, New York 1997 (coedited with Stig Förster); People in Transit: German Migrations in Comparative Perspective, 1820–1930, New York 1995 (coedited with Dirk Hoerder). He is currently working on a project analyzing the shifting collective memory of Abraham Lincoln in the Civil Rights movement.