Ao. Univ.-Prof. Kurt A. Mayer (1955-2002)

Kurt Mayer was assistant professor of American Studies and a highly engaged teacher and communicator, part of whose legacy was his innovative use of the internet to document and drive seminars on various literary and cultural studies projects topics, such WesternsAmericanismsThe Great American Novel or his travelogue Roads in/of American Culture. He gave this web collection the title TEACH NET. These web projects contained many resources which were partly programmed by him and partly by his students. The pedagogical aim was to deepen students’ knowledge not only of American Studies but also of multimedia and web creation.

The work of Kurt Mayer ended in 2002 with his tragically young death at the age of 47. His work and that of his students documents this historically significant period at the beginnings of web-based teaching. It also testifies to the energy and vision that go into innovative university teaching.

The original server set up by Dr. Mayer specially for these projects was a Windows NT server which crashed in 2003. As a repository for these sites, the Gateway to American Cultural Studies was set up by Kurt Mayer's students and colleagues, all data being transferred and adapted accordingly. Astrid Fellner, Klaus Heissenberger and Markus Rheindorf set up this web anthology with financial help of the AAAS.