About the Institute

The Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies fosters synergies in research and teaching related to the Americas in a global context. It is an integral part of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and underlines the traditionally strong relationship between Mainz and the United States.

Relying on a highly engaged faculty, we are committed to providing excellence in research and teaching. At the Transnational American Studies Institute we offer a B.A. in American Studies, an M.A. in American Studies, and a Ph.D. Degree.
Based on our three pillars of research – Early American Studies, Contemporary American Studies, and History – we have a strong emphasis on Indigenous Studies, Life Writing/Life Sciences, Political & Intellectual History, Film & Media Studies, Religion and American Culture, and Materiality.

The institute relies on the generous support by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and various other sponsors, such as the German Research Foundation (DFG).


“… the American Studies Program at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, which, along with its increasingly transnational, transdisciplinary, and transmedial interests, thus has emerged as an outright hub of the German Americanist profession.”

Giesenkirchen Sawyer, Michaela. “International Scholarship: German Contributions.” American Literary Scholarship 2013.1 (2015)

Auma Obama at the Institute in fall 2014
During the opening ceremony of the Obama Institute: University President Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch
v.l.n.r Prof. Dr. Stephan Jolie, Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung, Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch, Prof. Dr. Mita Banerjee, Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding