Dust. The first thing he noticed was the hot, dry air and the dust creeping through the tiny slit between his mask and pali scarf. He felt dizzy, and he didn’t know where he was, almost like waking up after a long, deep dream. He stood still trying to calm his breath, but the heat remained unrelenting. It was dark where he was. He found himself under a shelter, a bridge of sorts with bright sunlight on both sides. He felt sweat running from his forehead along his mask down his nose and tasted the salty liquid on his lips. It dripped from his neck all the way down to his boots. A waterfall of sweat. He wanted to move, get out of this heat, out of his clothes, but something made him freeze. He looked down and noticed black boots, pants, a jacket, a protection vest, and gloves as he vanished into the shadows. Only then did he realize that he was not alone. Read more »
A million years ago when I was a child, I was always fascinated by what could be. I think this was primarily because I was surrounded by what was. As a Native person, I was constantly made aware of our heritage, our culture, everything from the past that made us unique and special. Also I was conscious of the fact that – technologically speaking – we were at a bit of a disadvantage to those who showed up one day for dinner and never left. I remember the first time I saw television, played with a computer, watched Star Trek, and got an electric toothbrush. Darn clever those White people. Native people constantly wonder at the clever innovations and devices the dominant culture feels the need to create – everything from vibrators to nuclear bombs. Read more »
If you missed the previous blog, then click here. Last week, we left off with Ira Wagler talking about the difficulty of writing Growing Up Amish. In the following video, he continues in the same vein with the tricky topics of guilt, reception of his book, and the challenge of finding the right title, just to name a few. Without further ado, the American Studies Blog now brings you Part II.
Still have questions? Then why not get a copy of Ira Wagler’s book, explore the leading website on Amish studies, or join the Amish scholars, professionals, and educators at the international conference, “Continuity and Change: 50 Years of Amish Society” hosted by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania from June 9-11, 2016?
Questions. Questions. There are always questions, especially when dealing with the Old Order Amish. And questions there were – plenty of questions – following The New York Times best-selling author Ira Wagler’s talk at the Plain People Conference at Leuphana University. In fact, the Q&A ran slightly longer than his introductory remarks to Growing Up Amish. Of course, this really shouldn’t be surprising since Wagler has a unique way of connecting with his audience, an audience on this particular sweltering evening made up of scholars, students, upper-secondary English teachers, and residents of Lüneburg. Reflecting the diversity of that delightful audience, the questions dealt with everything from trauma to the Pennsylvania Dutch. So, if you are Ira Wagler’s fan, an avid American Studies Blog reader, or a student trying to pep up your presentation on the Amish, you can be sure to find ample food for thought.
Wishing for more? Then tune in next week for Part II.
When lê thi diem thúy (pronounced “twee”) visited Leuphana University this past May, not only did our students have the opportunity to attend her reading and talk, the three of us also had the pleasure of interviewing her. lê thi diem thúy is the author of the highly acclaimed novel, The Gangster We Are All Looking For, but primarily sees herself as a poet. If you’re looking for some creative inspiration to start off the new year, take a peek at the interview.
ASB: When did you first decide to become a writer?
thúy: It was never decided that I would become a writer. What I wanted, ever since I was a child and first learned to read, was to be with words. Reading was both a challenge and a consolation, stories were worlds I could enter, and from a young age I understood that words somehow summoned worlds. At first I only wanted to be transported as a reader. Perhaps I became a writer when I realized that I, too, carried worlds within myself, and words were the key to unlock those worlds and release people, places, moments, questions, desires. Read more »
One week before Christmas and no gift in sight?
Allow me to assist you out of your plight
For who really wants one more thoughtless gift?
Doomed to be piled on the re-gifting snowdrift
So why not create a story to tweet
In 140 characters – short and sweet
Well, actually in 140 characters or less. No Twitter account needed. No money required – just a bit of time. No reason to fall under the glamour of the pre-holiday commercialization craze. Just a seed for a story that you need to let grow and trim back into shape. You can do the old-school thing and write or type it on a decorative piece of paper. Then just stuff it into a little stocking. Of course, you can text or WhatsApp your gift of twiction as well. In search of ideas? Then take a peek at some of the twictions from my creative writing students.