Access America

Popular Culture, History, and Current Events

ASB 2019 Contest Winner in the Category “Access America”

By Pune Karimi

 

From left to right: American author Peter Wortsman, Pune Karimi, and ASB editor, Dr. Sabrina Völz. Photo credit: Henrike Kattoll

On behalf of the American Studies Blog, we would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to Pune Karimi whose winning entry in the 2019 ASB contest in the category “Access America” can be read below. Although the American Studies Blog does not usually print political pieces, we felt that the winning blog voices a point of view largely absent from American politics and media, and, therefore, deserves to be heard. We hope it gives you some food for thought.

 

Presidential Elections 2020 – Still No Country for Indigenous People

 

“Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey – Icons” by DonkeyHotey

While Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they have little desire to improve the lives of people of color or marginalized groups, Democrats have often prided themselves on fighting for the disadvantaged. Still – hardly ever have the rights of Indigenous people been a topic during the U.S. presidential elections, and it seems unlikely that this is going to change any time soon. At least that’s what it looked like during the first Democratic debates.

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Maple Leaf & Stars and Stripes

By Maria Moss and Sabrina Völz

We’re in our ninth year of Maple Leaf & Stars and Stripes– if this lecture series were a child, it would be in third grade by now.

We’re especially proud to announce this year’s bilingual (German/English) kickoff talk by Peter Wortsman, New York author and translator of Austrian-Jewish descent. Interestingly, he’s the recipient of the Geertje Potash-Suhr Prosapreis. Citizens of Lüneburg will recognize this prestigious award, named after former Lüneburg resident Geertje Suhr.

On October 24, we will also be announcing the winner of the American Studies Blog contest in the Access America category. The writer of the winning blog, which will be posted on October 30, will be present.

Please join us for an exciting evening in building 12, room 013, from 18:15 to 19:45 at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Universitätsallee 1. Click here for the campus map.

All lectures are open to the public – and feel free to bring a friend!

Oct. 24

Peter Wortsman (writer and translator, New York), “Reading from Stimme und Atem. Out of Breath, Out of Mind

Nov. 14

Michael Louis Moser (TU Dresden), “The Evolution of Political Moments on Network TV: Late Night from Steve Allen to Stephen Colbert”

Nov. 21

Andreas Hübner (Leuphana), “’Their motto is not liberty, but slavery’: Confederate Monuments, White Supremacy, and the Legacy of Jim Crow”

Dec. 12

Helga Bories-Sawala (Universität Bremen), “Indiens, Sauvages, Amérindiens, Premières Nations: Das Bild der Indigenen in den Geschichtsbüchern Québecs”

Jan. 9

Silke Hackenesch (Universität zu Köln), “Transracial Adoptions in Postwar America”

Jan. 23

Mieke Roscher (Universität Kassel), “Current Objectives of Historical Human-Animal Studies: Interspecies Societies after the Animal Turn”

It’s Campaign Season – So “Keep the Ball Rolling”!

By Sibylle Machat

Have you ever heard the expression “keep the ball rolling” and wondered about its origins?

An antecedent of the phrase stems from the British “keep the ball up,” but the phrase itself is only 180 years old and originated during the 1840 presidential election between Democratic candidate Martin van Buren and Wig candidate William Henry Harrison. In this election, Harrison’s presidential campaign introduced so-called victory balls – globes made from tin and leather, about ten feet in diameter, that were pushed from one campaign rally and from one town to the next. Photography was not around in the 1840s, of course, but according to illustrations from the time, these victory balls looked something like this:

Credit: “1840 Victory Ball illustration” in Carr, T. Turn out! To the rescue!. G. E. Blake, Philadelphia, monographic, 1840. Notated Music. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

 

But this is only the beginning of the story:

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Yay! People love her!

By Bobbie Kirkhart

photo credit: Jamie Smed @ flickr

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has a twin sister, but everyone recognizes that they are fraternal twins because Megan certainly is one of a kind. She’s unique from her bright pink hair to her red hot feet. It’s her feet that made her famous, starting in 2005 with her role in the NCAA championship win for the University of Portland; she made the U.S. national team the next year.

In the 2011 World Cup, she played in all U.S. games. After one goal, she grabbed a microphone and sang Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” At the 2012 London Games, she scored directly from a corner kick, making her the only player to have done that in Olympic competitions. In this year’s World Cup, she scored six goals, one of only four players in the tournament to achieve that. She was the only player in this year’s tournament to score two goals each in consecutive games.

Off the field, her mouth and her heart are as active as her feet.
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Apollo 11 – An Alternate Universe

By Sibylle Machat

No, this blog post is not about conspiracy theories connected to the Apollo program, Apollo 11, or the moon landing. Instead, it is about an alternate universe in which the first moon landing had a less fortunate ending, a “there but for the grace of god” in reverse.

The day: June 20, 1969, around 6 p.m. UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin have successfully landed on the moon, completed their famous moon walk, taken photographs, collected about 20 kg worth of lunar rock and soil samples, and have finally re-entered Eagle (as they named their lunar lander). They’ve slept for a good seven hours, and, now that they are both awake again, the time has come to lift off from the moon, to get back into lunar orbit, rendezvous with Columbia, where their crewmate Michael Collins is awaiting their return, and to, ultimately, head back to earth.

So Armstrong and Aldrin fire the Eagle’s engine.

And … … … nothing happens.

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