As we approach the 5th anniversary of the American Studies Blog (http://blog.asjournal.org/), we decided to celebrate by asking you – our readers – to participate in the joyful occasion of our first blog competition.
Although blogging has changed over the years, it’s still a great platform to voice your ideas and share content with people around the world. Now choose a topic that fits into at least one of three zeitgeisty categories and try your talents:
Access America (Popular Culture, History, and Current Events)
Best Books & Fabulous Films (Reviews and More)
Teaching Tools (Tips, Tricks, and Tools of the Trade)
Seventy years ago, on May 12, 1949, the Berlin Blockade came to an end. Nowadays considered a cornerstone of the Cold War Era, the blockade had been initiated eleven months earlier by the Soviet military administration in response to the introduction of a new currency, the Deutsche Mark, in the American, British, and French occupation zones of Germany and the allied sectors of Berlin. The Soviets understood the D-Mark as a prelude to the establishment of a single economic unit and a new government in West Germany. Thus, to prevent the distribution of the currency and to force the Western coalition to abandon the city, the Soviet military administration began blocking West Berlin, halting all rail, road and barge traffic as well as cutting off gas and electricity supplies. Read more »
Flash fiction is not only a fun and quick read, but also a fun and not-always-so-quick write. The key is to create a succinct story – ranging from 250 to 1000 words – that preferably focuses on one specific character and ends with a twist or epiphany for the character in question. In my creative writing seminar, “A Way with Words – Away with Words,” Rebecca rose to the flash-fiction challenge and composed a three-piece collection entitled The French Connection – an homage to the artsy and quirky characters that populate the Parisian landscape. The first instalment, “Belle Époque,” recounts the musings of a somebody from a small town who always dreamed of making it big.
It’s Saturday morning ten after nine. After a half hour drive, my two daughters and I pull into the parking lot outside a school that is situated in an affluent Boston suburb. We are among over 400 students (ranging from age 4 to 17), their parents, and about 40 faculty and staff members. Every Saturday morning, this building serves as the German Saturday School Boston (GSSB), founded in 1874 by the Boylston Schul-Verein. Read more »
In the age of social media, it’s the image that rules. Instagram is the perfect example: It not only feeds some people’s insatiable need to document and offer glimpses into their private lives but also caters to a certain audience’s desire to consume and experience these slices of life vicariously. Instagram refers to the images posted as “stories,” a designation that fits in perfectly with the proverb: Every picture tells a story. And stories are almost always subject(ed) to interpretation. In the case of these Instagram picture stories, often the only clue is a brief caption or hashtag.
But what if the focus were to be shifted and that proverb were to be reversed? Read more »
”Lose your mind and come to your senses.” Fritz Perls
In an age of never-ending parallel conversations, screens and second screens, and an even more interesting story just one swift move away from your fingertips, the most natural and humanly intuitive things suddenly don’t come easy anymore. It’s not easy to just go for a walk. To feel the earth give way under your feet. To listen to the wind whispering cold gibberish into your ears. To feel the sun on your skin, that warm yellow massage of light. To smell the green of the trees, to gratefully breathe in what they so lovingly breathe out.
Since our feet are already in ‘vignetty’ waters, let’s go for a dive!