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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German American Day – Celebrate 336 Years of German American History

By Sabrina Völz

Photo credit: “Herr und Frau” by Phil Davis NY

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 culture since the founding of Germantown, now part of Philadelphia, 336 years ago. October 6, 1683, marks the first German settlement in North America. Instead of celebrating the popular holidays familiar to most students, such as Halloween or Christmas, perhaps it is now more than ever important to remember the close ties between our two nations. I have put together a few ideas for a lesson on German American Day.

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Some Things Never Fade

By Rebecca Lüps

o here I am in famous Montmartre next to 50 other unknown artists who all do the same thing – draw famous people. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s October, and the leaves are fading. I call it fade, not fall because when you stand on this mountain all year long, you see how everything fades away. The view is fading, the heat is fading, the customers are fading. What can I say, you get used to it.

The first years, I still shaved and kept my hair short, but you let go of those vanities after a few cold winters out here. And you realize: Nobody cares. The only thing your customers care about is that you’re wearing a beret. I guess they think it’s artsy and French. Hypocrites.

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