S. Karin Amos (1961 - )

Amos, S. Karin

Short Biography & Significant Contribution

S. Karin Amos is Professor of Education at the Institute of Education at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany. Karin Amos holds a Chair in General Education with focus in Comparative and International and Multicultural Education since 2006. Born in Frankfurt am Main in 1961, she was educated at the Catholic University of Eichstätt and at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. After her studies in Germany Karin Amos worked at Mills College, Oakland (CA), in the United States; at the Department of Education at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main and held an appointment as visiting professor at the University of Vienna in 2006.

S. Karin Amos wrote a Ph. D. dissertation on "Alexis de Tocqueville and the American national identity: the reception of "De la démocratie en Amérique" in the United States in the nineteenth century", and her postdoctoral dissertation is titled "The American Black Ghetto: Education and the Constitution of Membership in the National Community". She has, moreover, made noteworthy contributions to the fields of comparative and international education, multicultural education as well as to gender and cultural studies. Amos is speaker of the International Comparative and Multicultural Education Commission of the German Corporation for Education Science (DGfE) for the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES). In one of her current research projects Amos collaborates with a German foundation in a program to advance talented but disadvantaged students with immigrant background. In addition, Amos is co-editor of the Erziehungswissenschaftliche Revue, a German-language online review journal on education.

Amos significant contribution is to take the example of the United States as a model to study the role of mass education for the constitution of modern societies. She combines a neoinstitutionalist and a Foucaultian approach and shows the dynamics of constructing various groups of the (national) population, which are then the object either of special educational programs or are measured against a certain standard of normalcy. Her analyses show how inclusion and exclusion are produced in a complex web of signification which is deeply embedded in but not seen by the education system.

Another but related strand of interest concerns the question of how multicultural education addresses or fails to address the new conceptions of societies as characterized by plurality and diversity. In this context, the issue she is interested in is how concepts of difference are appropriated by education system and explores dimensions of transculturalism. A current strand of her research therefore addresses the balancing between homogeneity and heterogeneity or diversity. The practical implications of this question are addressed in studying different concepts of education in the context of educational partnerships. How do parents, especially those of immigrant background, and schools view education? How can different concepts and practices be reconciled without denying their difference? These are some of the questions she poses.

The change in educational governance, that is increasingly replacing traditional educational policy through inter- or transnational actors and their multiple but shifting relations with national actors, is also a central research field for Amos since this change bears implications for International Comparative Education but also for Multicultural Studies.

Educational Background

Degree in History, English and American Studies (upper secondary level school teacher state examination), Catholic University of Eichstätt and Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany (1986)

Ph.D., Faculty of Language and Literature, Catholic University of Eichstätt, Germany (1992). Major subjects: American Studies, Modern History, and Didactics of the English Language and Literature
Professorial dissertation: "The American Urban Ghetto. Education and the Constitution of Membership in the National Community", Department of Education, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2002)

Professional Background

Research and teaching assistant at the Department of American Studies, Catholic University Eichstätt (1989-90)

Research and teaching assistant at the Institute for General and Secondary Education, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (1991-96)

Research and teaching assistant at the Institute for General Education, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (1996-2002)

Substitute professor at the Department of Education, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (2002-2004)

Professor of Education with focus on the internationalization of Education, at the Institute for General Education, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (2004-2006)

Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, Department of General Education, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (2006 to present)

Affiliations (associations, organizations, institutions)

Member of the German Corporation for Education Science (DGfE): Commission for International

Comparative and Multicultural Education (SIIVE)

Member of the Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE)

Member of the Mediterranean Society of Comparative Education (MESCE)

Member of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)

Selected Publications

Amos, S. K., Bruno, L. & Parreira do Amaral, M. (2008): The Research University in Context: The Examples of Brazil and Germany. In: Baker, David P. & Wiseman, Alexander W. (Eds.): The Worldwide Transformation of Higher Education (International Perspectives on Education and Society, vol. 09). Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 111-158.

Amos, S. K. & Radtke, F.-O. (Eds.) (2007): Die Formation neuer Bildungsregime: Zur Durchsetzung von Regierungstechniken in der post-nationalen Konstellation - The Formation of New Educational Regimes: On the Penetration of Governance Techniques in the post national Constellation. Vol. 13, No. 2, Tertium Comparationis.

AMOS, S. K. (2007): Das amerikanische "Urban Ghetto" als sozil-räumlicher Ausdruck prekärer gesellschaftlicher Mitgliedschaft. In: Kessl, F./Otto, H.-U. (Eds.): Territorialisierung des Sozialen. Regieren über soziale Nahräume. Opladen/Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich, 233-253.

Amos, S. K. (2002). The American Black Ghetto: Education and the Constitution of Membership in the National Community(Habilitationsschrift)

Amos, S. K. (1994). Alexis de Tocqueville and the American National Identity. The Reception of De la Démocratie en Amérique in the United States in the Nineteenth Century. Frankfurt/Main, Berlin etc.: Peter Lang

Created: 3/14/2008

Updated: 3/17/2008

Contributed By: Marcelo Parreira do Amaral and Zebiba Teklay, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen