Remote Learning with American Studies

By Carolyn Blume, Andreas Hübner, Michaela Keck

With this fifth blog, we are com­ing to the end or our series on dig­i­tal teach­ing tools. We hope that you’ve been inspired by some of the Amer­i­can Stud­ies links rang­ing from the heart-warm­ing and hilar­i­ous antics of humans and ani­mals to the more schol­ar­ly posts on Aca­d­e­m­ic Earth.

Make Way for Duck­lings by Nan­cy Schön in Boston Pub­lic Garden
Google Lit Trips
By Carolyn Blume

“Trav­el is fatal to prej­u­dice, big­otry, and nar­row-mind­ed­ness.” Mark Twain

Dur­ing a time when phys­i­cal trav­el options are nec­es­sar­i­ly lim­it­ed, Google Lit Trips offer an oppor­tu­ni­ty to engage in vir­tu­al field trips. A Google Lit Trip con­sists of three basic elements:

  • Google Earth
  • A lit­er­ary work in Eng­lish from kinder­garten through college
  • Inter­ac­tive resources that con­nect the piece of lit­er­a­ture to its setting.

Devel­oped by indi­vid­ual teach­ers, each Google Lit Trip serves as a mul­ti­me­dia lit­er­ary jour­ney, embed­ding actu­al loca­tions with excerpts from nov­els, videos, still images, and relat­ed tex­tu­al resources along with guid­ing ques­tions or tasks for (time and space) trav­el­ers. Take a trip to Boston with Make Way For Duck­lings, to Alaba­ma in 1963 with The Wat­sons Go To Birm­ing­ham, or to the post-apoc­a­lyp­tic U.S. with Cor­mac McCarthy’s The Road.

Google Lit Trips are a non­prof­it, free-to-use resource sur­pris­ing­ly not affil­i­at­ed with Google.

https://www.googlelittrips.org/

 

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The American Yawp
By Andreas Hübner

Teach­ing Amer­i­can His­to­ry dig­i­tal­ly, schol­ars have always had mul­ti­ple resources to choose from, espe­cial­ly if they were look­ing for addi­tion­al archival mate­r­i­al. The Smith­son­ian, the Library of Con­gress, and the Nation­al Archives, to name but a few, all pro­vide access to his­tor­i­cal images, books, and man­u­scripts. Yet, in times of COVID-19, schol­ars also have to recon­sid­er the acces­si­bil­i­ty of text­books, usu­al­ly housed on the shelves of uni­ver­si­ty libraries or pur­chased by stu­dents, most­ly at hor­ren­dous prices.

Thus, I start­ed to look at dif­fer­ent options and came across The Amer­i­can Yawp. To edu­ca­tors of Amer­i­can his­to­ry, The Amer­i­can Yawp offers an excel­lent alter­na­tive to tra­di­tion­al non-open access pub­lish­ing ven­tures. Edit­ed by his­to­ri­ans Joseph L. Locke and Ben Wright, The Amer­i­can Yawp pro­vides all the read­ings that an Amer­i­can his­to­ry instruc­tor could hope for: from the ear­ly col­o­niza­tion of the Amer­i­can con­ti­nent to Amer­i­can pol­i­tics after 9/11. In addi­tion, The Amer­i­can Yawp offers a com­pli­men­ta­ry pri­ma­ry source read­er, includ­ing a broad range of teach­ing mate­ri­als: syl­labi, key terms, quizzes, essay assign­ments, and even exem­plary exams. Look­ing at the range of mate­ri­als avail­able, his­to­ri­ans are cer­tain­ly ready to kick off your online Amer­i­can his­to­ry sur­vey class.

Links

Web­site: http://www.americanyawp.com/

Pri­ma­ry Source Read­er: http://www.americanyawp.com/reader.html

Teach­ing: http://www.americanyawp.com/text/teaching-materials/

Smith­son­ian: https://www.si.edu/

Nation­al Archives: https://www.archives.gov/

Library of Con­gress: https://www.loc.gov/

 

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The British Library – American Style
By Michaela Keck

Believe it or not, the British Library hous­es one of the world’s largest col­lec­tions of U.S. books – rang­ing from the ear­li­est colo­nial peri­od to the present day – as well as mag­a­zines, musi­cal scores, maps, jour­nals, and loads of dig­i­tal resources: https://www.bl.uk/collection-guides/american-collections.

Of course, the British Library is also one of the world’s finest on British cul­ture and lit­er­a­ture. This link pro­vides read­ers with online resources sort­ed by cen­turies, offer­ing mate­ri­als that range from schol­ar­ly arti­cles to films and visu­al cul­ture as well as teach­ers’ notes. Even though canon­i­cal authors and their works are promi­nent and the tar­get audi­ence of the teach­ers’ mate­ri­als are high school rather than uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents, I found that these resources include excel­lent schol­ar­ly arti­cles com­bined with his­tor­i­cal (visu­al) doc­u­ments about the Roman­tics, Goth­ic fic­tion, or the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of drugs in the 19th cen­tu­ry. As my exam­ples show, I main­ly teach 19th cen­tu­ry lit­er­a­ture, and even though I spe­cial­ize in Amer­i­can Stud­ies, I have found this web­site a valu­able as well as appeal­ing resource for my Bach­e­lor students.

 

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Car­olyn Blume is a researcher and lec­tur­er at Leuphana Uni­ver­si­ty Lüneb­urg. Her cur­rent research focus­es on pre-ser­vice teacher edu­ca­tion in the areas of both inclu­sive edu­ca­tion and dig­i­tal­ly-enact­ed for­eign lan­guage learn­ing and teach­ing. In the Insti­tute of Eng­lish Stud­ies, she teach­es cours­es in sec­ond lan­guage acqui­si­tion, game-based lan­guage learn­ing, and the edu­ca­tion of learn­ers in het­ero­ge­neous and inclu­sive set­tings. A native New York­er, Dr. Blume worked as an Eng­lish and his­to­ry school teacher and admin­is­tra­tor in the U.S. before becom­ing a teacher in Ger­many in 2008. In addi­tion to co-edit­ing the recent con­fer­ence pro­ceed­ings, Tagungs­doku­men­ta­tion 2018 – Per­spek­tiv­en inklu­siv­en Englis­chunter­richts: Gemein­sam lehren und ler­nen, Dr. Blume con­ducts work­shops for teach­ers inter­est­ed in meet­ing stu­dents’ learn­ing needs with the sup­port of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies. She can (fre­quent­ly) be found on twitter@CaroBlume.

Andreas Hüb­n­er is cur­rent­ly a Lec­tur­er at Leuphana Uni­ver­si­ty Lüneb­urg. His research focus­es on Cul­tur­al and Glob­al His­to­ry as well as His­to­ry Didac­tics. In 2015, he received his Ph.D. from Jus­tus Liebig Uni­ver­si­ty Giessen. He served as Dianne Woest Fel­low at the His­toric New Orleans Col­lec­tion in August/September 2016 and as Horner Library Fel­low at the Ger­man Soci­ety of Philadel­phia in July 2018. Hübner’s mono­graph on Ger­man Amer­i­can fil­iopi­etist J. Han­no Deil­er was pub­lished in 2009, his mono­graph on the Ger­man Coast of colo­nial Louisiana in 2017.

Michaela Keck teach­es Amer­i­can Stud­ies at the Insti­tute of Eng­lish and Amer­i­can Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Old­en­burg. Among her major research inter­ests are eco­crit­i­cism and nature writ­ing, women’s lit­er­a­ture, and visu­al cul­ture. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, see http://www.staff.uni-oldenburg.de/michaela.keck/.