Objectives and Organization
The Center for North American Studies (ZENAF) is an interdisciplinary research institute at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt bringing together scholars and students from the social sciences and humanities. Founded in 1979, it is one of the largest research centers of its kind in Germany. The Center’s main purpose is to combine the university’s various departmental resources directed at the study of North American topics, and thus to maintain and further stimulate interest in North American Studies both in Frankfurt and Germany at large. Research and teaching activities at the ZENAF focus on contemporary as well as historical developments in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Of primary concern are transnational and transcultural dimensions of political, economic, social, and cultural change; North America’s role as agent and subject of globalization; and comparative approaches to North American and European societies and cultures.
Members of the Center for North American Studies are professors, junior faculty, and graduate students. The Center is supervised by a board of directors consisting of representatives from the departments associated with the Center. At present, the following disciplines are represented: law, sociology, political science, English and American studies, Romance studies, history and geography. The Center's infrastructure and library are designed to support and facilitate projects. The ZENAF publishes a preprint series of work in progress, the ZENAF Arbeits- und Forschungsberichte (ZAF), and –in cooperation with the John F. Kennedy Institute at the Free University Berlin and the Institute for English and American Studies at the Humboldt University (Berlin) – the book series Nordamerikastudien at Campus publishers (Frankfurt/New York).
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