Sabrina Völz

Blog posts by Sabrina Völz:

Special Events You Won’t Want to Miss
What do pornog­ra­phy, fake Indi­ans, the cli­mate cri­sis, and fire­fight­ers in New York City have in com­mon? Well, these are all top­ics of this season’s lec­ture … Continue reading Special Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Having Fun with Language on German American Day 2022
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. … Continue reading Having Fun with Language on German American Day 2022

Breaking New Ground: Liberating Lomie by Saloma Miller Furlong
In 2011, Salo­ma Miller Furlong’s Why I Left the Amish: A Mem­oir appeared dur­ing the mem­oir boom that gave agency to invis­i­ble, mar­gin­al­ized, or mis­rep­re­sent­ed groups. … Continue reading Breaking New Ground: Liberating Lomie by Saloma Miller Furlong

Setting the Stage for Black History Month
It’s that time of year again. Feb­ru­ary 1 marks the begin­ning of Black His­to­ry Month. Before I sug­gest some use­ful resources, let’s briefly look at its … Continue reading Setting the Stage for Black History Month

Grammarly Premium Also Works for Advanced EFL Students: Reflections on a Pilot Project at Leuphana
Ok, peo­ple. This is prob­a­bly not going to be the most excit­ing post you’ve ever read, but if you teach at an insti­tute of high­er learn­ing … Continue reading Grammarly Premium Also Works for Advanced EFL Students: Reflections on a Pilot Project at Leuphana

One of the Darkest Days in American History: 11’09”01 (2002)
Sep­tem­ber 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniver­sary of the most hor­ren­dous ter­ror­ist attack on Amer­i­can soil. In a series of four coor­di­nat­ed attacks on the World … Continue reading One of the Darkest Days in American History: 11’09”01 (2002)

“Be Free or Die”: Teaching Harriet (2019)
It’s not easy to make a biopic that pleas­es the crit­ics. And, to some extent, Har­ri­et, direct­ed by Kasi Lem­mons, falls into that cat­e­go­ry. Har­ri­et weaves … Continue reading “Be Free or Die”: Teaching Harriet (2019)

Harriet Tubman and the 20-Dollar Bill Controversy
Mere days after Joe Biden was sworn in as Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, the new admin­is­tra­tion announced its inten­tion to put Har­ri­et Tub­man – known … Continue reading Harriet Tubman and the 20-Dollar Bill Controversy

Meet Doug Emhoff – The First Second Gentleman
Usu­al­ly, the spous­es of vice pres­i­dents of the Unit­ed States don’t attract much pub­lic atten­tion. Many Amer­i­cans prob­a­bly can’t even name more than two or three … Continue reading Meet Doug Emhoff – The First Second Gentleman

More than Just a Novel: Nic Stone’s Dear Martin
It’s been near­ly 52 years since Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. was assas­si­nat­ed on April 4, 1968. With­out a doubt, he con­tin­ues to inspire new gen­er­a­tions … Continue reading More than Just a Novel: Nic Stone’s Dear Martin

“My Goal Would Be To Go Out of Business and Go Back to the Classroom”: An Interview with Nancy Dome
At the din­ner table, on the train, or at work, we wit­ness dis­crim­i­na­to­ry lan­guage or racist remarks from time to time. We often know that we … Continue reading “My Goal Would Be To Go Out of Business and Go Back to the Classroom”: An Interview with Nancy Dome

Ira Wagler’s Serial Memoir Broken Roads: Returning to My Amish Father
I know the mon­sters that lurk in the recess­es of the mind and in the dark cor­ners of the heart. I know, because I deal with my … Continue reading Ira Wagler’s Serial Memoir Broken Roads: Returning to My Amish Father

“Writing is how I process things”: An Interview with Miriam Toews
We met Miri­am Toews at a read­ing in Ham­burg on March 26, 2019. Toews was on a book tour to pro­mote the Ger­man trans­la­tion of her … Continue reading “Writing is how I process things”: An Interview with Miriam Toews

A Call for 60s-Style Teach-ins on Anti-Racism
  Let’s start off with a few telling facts: The ori­gin of the word “racism” stems from the French word racisme which appeared dur­ing the last … Continue reading A Call for 60s-Style Teach-ins on Anti-Racism

A Changing Mindset: Teaching “A Mown Lawn” by Lydia Davis
Thurs­day, Jan. 23, 2020 (10:47 a.m.) Lydia Davis (1947- ) is a lover of lan­guage and an Amer­i­can writer, prob­a­bly in that order. She’s best known … Continue reading A Changing Mindset: Teaching “A Mown Lawn” by Lydia Davis

Digital American Studies – The ASB Editors’ Favorite Picks (Part I)
Every­one is writ­ing about the shift to dig­i­tal teach­ing in wake of the coro­n­avirus cri­sis. The focus on Twit­ter and diverse blogs seems to be main­ly … Continue reading Digital American Studies – The ASB Editors’ Favorite Picks (Part I)

Sacrifice, Suffrage, and the Struggle for ERA: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020
2020 marks the 100th anniver­sary of the 19th Amend­ment to the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion that grant­ed Amer­i­can women the right to vote. That is cer­tain­ly rea­son to … Continue reading Sacrifice, Suffrage, and the Struggle for ERA: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020

Dreams Have No Borders: The 8th Indianer/Inuit North American Film Festival
Ask any Native Stud­ies schol­ar in Europe, and they will be well aware of the Euro­pean fas­ci­na­tion with Native peo­ples of North Amer­i­ca – a fas­ci­na­tion … Continue reading Dreams Have No Borders: The 8th Indianer/Inuit North American Film Festival

On European Audiences, Workshopping, and His Novel, The Altruists: An Interview with Andrew Ridker
I met author Andrew Rid­ker at the Heine-Haus in Lüneb­urg on Octo­ber 21, 2019. After the inspir­ing evening, he kind­ly agreed to an email inter­view with … Continue reading On European Audiences, Workshopping, and His Novel, The Altruists: An Interview with Andrew Ridker

Maple Leaf & Stars and Stripes 
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. … Continue reading Maple Leaf & Stars and Stripes 

German American Day – Celebrate 336 Years of German American History
Although the Unit­ed States has great­ly impact­ed pol­i­tics and pop­u­lar cul­ture around the world, it should not be for­got­ten that Ger­man immi­grants have also influ­enced Amer­i­can … Continue reading German American Day – Celebrate 336 Years of German American History

Banking Amish-Style
When my col­leagues and I start­ed this blog, I would have nev­er in a mil­lion years thought I would be writ­ing about a bank. But near­ly … Continue reading Banking Amish-Style

An Interview with Award-Winning Author Jayne Anne Phillips
After par­tic­i­pat­ing in an inspir­ing writ­ing work­shop with Jayne Anne Phillips as part of The 15th Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence on the Short Sto­ry in Eng­lish in Lis­bon … Continue reading An Interview with Award-Winning Author Jayne Anne Phillips

Elsewhere: From Interview to Podcast
It’s nev­er too ear­ly to think about the next semes­ter. Per­haps you and your stu­dents would like to try your hand at pod­cast­ing. I have to … Continue reading Elsewhere: From Interview to Podcast

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
As some­one who reg­u­lar­ly teach­es cre­ative non-fic­tion to uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents, I’m always look­ing for new mate­r­i­al. Ear­li­er this year, I came across a high­ly acclaimed mem­oir … Continue reading Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

National Comedy Center – It’s on THE Map!
When I start­ed out as a teach­ing assis­tant at Syra­cuse Uni­ver­si­ty at the ripe old age of twen­ty, I instinc­tive­ly knew I should get to know … Continue reading National Comedy Center – It’s on THE Map!

Outhouse Races, Chocolate-Covered Deep Fried Cheesecake, and the Butter What? Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair
When tourists from all over the world plan their vaca­tions to the Unit­ed States, they often stick to tried and true places to vis­it: Nation­al parks, … Continue reading Outhouse Races, Chocolate-Covered Deep Fried Cheesecake, and the Butter What? Nothing Compares to the Iowa State Fair

Connect-the-Cards: Making Academia Exciting while Fostering Critical Thinking Skills and Meaningful Conversation
Ques­tion and answer. Ques­tion and answer. Ques­tion and answer. And then silence. Last­ing silence. It hap­pens to the best of us. The rou­tine of work­ing with … Continue reading Connect-the-Cards: Making Academia Exciting while Fostering Critical Thinking Skills and Meaningful Conversation

“No, It’s Not Sissy Ball” – In Defense of Soccer
As most of you have prob­a­bly noticed, the Unit­ed States is not among the coun­tries play­ing in the World Cup for the first time in 32 … Continue reading “No, It’s Not Sissy Ball” – In Defense of Soccer

Hidden Figures: A Highly Entertaining Film that Means Well but Doesn’t Quite Add Up
As many of you might know, Hid­den Fig­ures (2016) is a biopic direct­ed by Theodore Melfi based on Mar­got Lee Shetterly’s pop­u­lar his­to­ry book and New … Continue reading Hidden Figures: A Highly Entertaining Film that Means Well but Doesn’t Quite Add Up

Topping off Thanksgiving Traditions: Turkey with Cranberry Sauce
Thanks­giv­ing is a day for spend­ing time with fam­i­ly and friends as well as shar­ing culi­nary delights, such as turkey, dress­ing (a Mid-West­ern word for stuff­ing), … Continue reading Topping off Thanksgiving Traditions: Turkey with Cranberry Sauce

Sexual Harassment in the 21st Century – Really?
If it wasn’t enough that Amer­i­can TV icon and edu­ca­tor Bill Cos­by was accused of sex­u­al assault, rape, and bat­tery – to name a few of … Continue reading Sexual Harassment in the 21st Century – Really?

Transgenerational Transmission of Holocaust Memories and Survival: An Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Ethan Bensinger (Part II)
The fol­low­ing is the sec­ond part of an inter­view with film direc­tor Ethan Bensinger in which he answers ques­tions about the chal­lenges of mak­ing his prize-win­ning … Continue reading Transgenerational Transmission of Holocaust Memories and Survival: An Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Ethan Bensinger (Part II)

Transgenerational Transmission of Holocaust Memories and Survival: An Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Ethan Bensinger (Part I)
When I first invit­ed film direc­tor Ethan Bensinger to come to Leuphana Uni­ver­si­ty Lüneb­urg, I knew that 2015 would be a spe­cial year for Holo­caust com­mem­o­ra­tion. … Continue reading Transgenerational Transmission of Holocaust Memories and Survival: An Interview with Documentary Filmmaker Ethan Bensinger (Part I)

Literature Circles Rock!
As we all know, more and more adults are read­ing less and less in their free time. That’s not a judg­ment, just a fact. Bud­ding book­worms … Continue reading Literature Circles Rock!

Writing Life: From Theory to Practice
Story­telling is as old as human civ­i­liza­tion itself and ful­fills a human need. In soci­eties, in which edu­ca­tion is becom­ing more com­mod­i­fied, stu­dents do not only … Continue reading Writing Life: From Theory to Practice

Voting Rights: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
After yet anoth­er elec­tion sea­son with a num­ber of glitch­es, the prob­lems with America’s vot­ing sys­tem have been all over the news once again. Will the … Continue reading Voting Rights: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The ‘D’ Word
Recent­ly, I read a high­ly acclaimed nov­el writ­ten by Lisa Gen­o­va, a Ph.D. in neu­ro­science. Her first book, Still Alice (2009), chron­i­cles the descent into Alzheimer’s … Continue reading The ‘D’ Word

Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir: A Review
The 1990s rang in an – if not the – era of mem­oir writ­ing. Since then, mem­oir pub­li­ca­tions have surged and with them their read­er­ship as … Continue reading Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir: A Review

Art meets Life: An Interview with Ex-Amish Author Saloma Miller Furlong – Part II
In the sec­ond half of the inter­view, we turn our atten­tion to Salo­ma Miller Furlong’s Bon­net Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two World (2014), the … Continue reading Art meets Life: An Interview with Ex-Amish Author Saloma Miller Furlong – Part II

Art meets Life: An Interview with Ex-Amish Author Saloma Miller Furlong
Salo­ma Miller Fur­long is author of the ex-Amish ser­i­al mem­oirs, Why I Left the Amish (2011) and Bon­net Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds … Continue reading Art meets Life: An Interview with Ex-Amish Author Saloma Miller Furlong

Inquisitive Minds Want to Know: A Mixed Bag of Questions for Ira Wagler – Part II
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. … Continue reading Inquisitive Minds Want to Know: A Mixed Bag of Questions for Ira Wagler – Part II

Inquisitive Minds Want to Know: A Mixed Bag of Questions for Ira Wagler – Part I
Ques­tions. Ques­tions. There are always ques­tions, espe­cial­ly when deal­ing with the Old Order Amish. And ques­tions there were – plen­ty of ques­tions – fol­low­ing The New … Continue reading Inquisitive Minds Want to Know: A Mixed Bag of Questions for Ira Wagler – Part I

The U.S.A. – A Country You Think You Know But Just Might Not
In his first speech as Pres­i­dent-elect of the Unit­ed States, Sen­a­tor Barack Oba­ma uttered the famous words which became the sound­bite echoed across the world: “Change has … Continue reading The U.S.A. – A Country You Think You Know But Just Might Not

The “It’s Not What You Might Think” Blog—Part II
For those of you who missed Part I, click here. Last week, we left off with Cheryl Strayed’s long descrip­tion of her­self.… It all seems to … Continue reading The “It’s Not What You Might Think” Blog—Part II

The “It’s Not What You Might Think” Blog—Part I
After hear­ing that the trav­el­ogue Wild by Cheryl Strayed was made into a movie, I thought about pick­ing up a copy of the book and inves­ti­gat­ing … Continue reading The “It’s Not What You Might Think” Blog—Part I

GOP Candidates Go Double Digits – A Problem or a Blessing in Disguise?
Before we get to our top­ic at hand, let’s get out that Karaoke mic and get ready to sing a song to the tune of “Ten … Continue reading GOP Candidates Go Double Digits – A Problem or a Blessing in Disguise?

Where are they going? Where have they been? – The Plain People
The scene is July 4, 2012. 8:56 p.m. Ira Wagler sends an e‑mail halfway across the world, answer­ing an inquiry from a uni­ver­si­ty instruc­tor in Ger­many … Continue reading Where are they going? Where have they been? – The Plain People

From Spring Fever Ad Nauseam to Columbus Day
I might be preach­ing to the choir here, but every­one knows that teach­ers are pressed for time. And I am sure you are, too. Recent­ly, I … Continue reading From Spring Fever Ad Nauseam to Columbus Day

Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home
Direc­tor Ethan Bensinger’s Refuge: Sto­ries of the Self­help Home appeared in 2012. The next three years saw this 60-minute doc­u­men­tary on Holo­caust sur­vivors amass­ing one award … Continue reading Refuge: Stories of the Selfhelp Home

“My feets is tired, but my soul is rested” — A Meditation on International Women’s Day
“Mom­my, mom­my. The oth­er moth­ers are all unem­ployed,” were the first words out of my son’s mouth as he dart­ed toward our car. Not exact­ly the … Continue reading “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested” — A Meditation on International Women’s Day

RAGBRAI: Take the Ride of Your Life
For those of you who missed it, the 2013 con­fer­ence theme of the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Asso­ci­a­tion of Ger­many held in Erlan­gen was “Rur­al Amer­i­ca.” As some­one … Continue reading RAGBRAI: Take the Ride of Your Life

Marketing and Performing History
As far as I can tell, his­to­ry has a bit of an image prob­lem among future Eng­lish teach­ers. It does not seem to be one of … Continue reading Marketing and Performing History

A Study Trip to Las Vegas?
Yes, a Study Trip!

The two-semes­ter project, “Eth­nic Stud­ies and Eco-Crit­i­cism Meet Inter­cul­tur­al Exchange: A Study Trip to Las Vegas,” brought togeth­er stu­dents and fac­ul­ty from Leuphana Uni­ver­si­ty in Lüneb­urg … Continue reading A Study Trip to Las Vegas?
Yes, a Study Trip!

Number 13: Unbraiding the Short Story
Regard­less of the field, con­fer­ences come in all shapes and sizes. Some are for­got­ten quick­ly while oth­ers become engraved in one’s mem­o­ry. The lat­ter expe­ri­ences are … Continue reading Number 13: Unbraiding the Short Story

Shooting for the Stars: Creativity and Competition in the English Classroom
It has been my expe­ri­ence that com­pe­ti­tion, apart from the kind found in tele­vi­sion quiz shows, is often frowned upon in Ger­many. For Amer­i­cans, how­ev­er, com­pe­ti­tion … Continue reading Shooting for the Stars: Creativity and Competition in the English Classroom