All posts by Henrike Kattoll

Nuclear Power and the Road to Ecomodernism

By Levin Schüren

Pho­to Cred­it: “Nuclear Envi­ron­men­tal­ist” by jurvet­son is licensed under

What if a belief you deeply held and one that’s rec­i­p­ro­cat­ed by your entire social cir­cle is actu­al­ly wrong and harm­ful? In the spir­it of my last blog, I want to tell the sto­ry of how I changed my mind on a major issue. The posi­tion I want to chal­lenge is deeply engrained in the DNA of the main­stream envi­ron­men­tal move­ment, espe­cial­ly here in Ger­many: the oppo­si­tion to nuclear power.

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Having Fun with Language on German American Day 2022

By Sabrina Völz

In coun­tries, such as Poland and the Nether­lands, learn­ing Ger­man is on the rise. Yet, in the U.S., it’s been declin­ing for the past hun­dred years. Num­bers of stu­dents learn­ing Ger­man have decreased from rough­ly two mil­lion in 1910 to a lit­tle over one mil­lion today. There­fore, it shouldn’t come as a sur­prise that Ger­man pro­grams have been clos­ing all over the U.S. The very lib­er­al arts col­lege I attend­ed as a bach­e­lor stu­dent in Indi­anola, Iowa – Simp­son Col­lege – elim­i­nat­ed its Ger­man pro­gram a few years ago. So in prepa­ra­tion for this Ger­man Amer­i­can Day (Oct. 6), I decid­ed to attempt to do some PR for German.

Recent­ly, while I was surf­ing the web, I came across some­thing that almost knocked me for a loop. It’s noth­ing bad, just a 58-let­ter word. So let’s hear that drum roll….

That word is: Kurz-fris­ten-energie-ver­sorgungs-sicherungs-maß­nah­men-verord­nung.

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When in Doubt, Ask a Native Author! The Winnetou Debate

By Maryann Henck

After a storm of protests from enraged par­ents con­cern­ing issues of (mis)representation and cul­tur­al appro­pri­a­tion in the new children’s movie, The Young Chief Win­netou (2022), the Ger­man pub­lish­er, Ravens­burg­er Ver­lag, with­drew the com­pan­ion book and puz­zle to the film. Soon there­after, the main Ger­man TV sta­tion (ARD) announced they would no longer broad­cast the pop­u­lar Win­netou movies from the 1960s based on Karl May’s nov­els. Every­one seems to have their take on the cur­rent con­tro­ver­sy; yet, there’s been some crit­i­cism regard­ing issues of pater­nal­ism due to the lack of Native voic­es in the debate. That’s why the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Blog has gone direct­ly to the source and inter­viewed Drew Hay­den Tay­lor acclaimed Cana­di­an Anish­naabe author, fre­quent fly­er to Ger­many, and cre­ator of the doc­u­men­tary, Search­ing for Win­netou (2018).

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Going against the Grain: Declaring My Love for Cars 2

By Veronika Heinrich

Every­body hates Cars 2 – and I just don’t under­stand why. First of all, let me make a con­fes­sion: I’m 25 years old and a Dis­ney nerd. I love watch­ing ani­mat­ed movies – as long as they’re well made. And Cars 2, even after more than ten years, is still my all-time feel-good movie.

It has every­thing you could wish for: Uplift­ing words, fun­ny jokes, and a world you can lose your­self in. There’s bare­ly any­thing that’s hate­ful or trig­ger­ing, and I love join­ing the char­ac­ters on their jour­ney. Yet, most crit­ics have char­ac­ter­ized Cars 2 as vio­lent and illog­i­cal, call­ing it the worst Pixar movie ever – and I just can’t wrap my head around it. How could I feel so dif­fer­ent­ly from every­one else?

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Iron Curtain, Please

By Michael Lederer

One man’s trash is another’s treasure.

Vladimir the Small, as his­to­ry is sure to remem­ber him, has pulled the iron cur­tain off the trash pile and ordered it rehung. His secu­ri­ty blan­ket. Thir­ty years exposed to West­ern ideas of choice – enough of that. Obe­di­ence or destruc­tion, enough choice for his people.

The good old days.

Pho­to Cred­it: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

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