Time to Say Good-Bye

By Maria Moss and Sabrina Völz

Our first con­tri­bu­tion, “New Kids on the Blog,” was uploaded on Sep­tem­ber 8, 2014. We were excit­ed to try our hands at blog writ­ing, some­thing none of us had ever done before, at least not on a reg­u­lar basis. Used to writ­ing aca­d­e­m­ic papers, books, or book chap­ters, we at first found the new medi­um too cur­so­ry and maybe also too friv­o­lous, in short: not aca­d­e­m­ic enough. But we soon dis­cov­ered that “short” does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean “not seri­ous” or “too super­fi­cial.” So slow­ly but sure­ly, we learned to love the short form, spiced up with images, video clips, pod­casts, and movie trail­ers. Soon, we start­ed recruit­ing writ­ers from across the globe, invit­ing them to share their views on U.S. his­to­ry, pol­i­tics, arts, and the media. Some of the con­tri­bu­tions were crit­i­cal of U.S. pol­i­tics, but most cel­e­brat­ed the U.S. for its cre­ative ener­gy, its inno­v­a­tive strength, and its abil­i­ty to con­stant­ly rejuvenate.

Occa­sion­al­ly, our blog assis­tants would try their hand at blog writ­ing. In the last few years, we couldn’t help but notice the gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences between us and our blog helpers and the inter­ests close to their hearts. Con­se­quent­ly, blogs start­ed to focus on fan­ta­sy films, dig­i­tal dis­trac­tions, and non-bina­ry and trans­gen­der identities.

One of the high­lights for us was recruit­ing and/or inter­view­ing award-win­ning authors such as Char­lene L. Edge, Salo­ma Miller Fur­long, Michael Led­er­er, Jayne Ann Philipps, Andrew Rid­ker, Drew Hay­den Tay­lor, and Ira Wagler.

Over­all, we pub­lished close to 400 blogs, which attract­ed read­ers from alto­geth­er 184 dif­fer­ent coun­tries! Our most faith­ful read­er­ship came from such diverse coun­tries as the U.S., fol­lowed by Ger­many, Chi­na, France, the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, Cana­da, and the Ukraine.

As one of our final tasks, we are cur­rent­ly prepar­ing the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Blog data for inclu­sion in the Leuphana Dig­i­tal Archive. After the process has been com­plet­ed, the Amer­i­can Stud­ies Blog will con­tin­ue to be avail­able to researchers and a wider pub­lic long after the cur­rent web­site disappears.

Although the ASB was one sig­nif­i­cant and vital con­stituent in Amer­i­can Stud­ies at Leuphana, North Amer­i­can Stud­ies will con­tin­ue with both the NAS pro­file in Com­ple­men­tary Stud­ies and our lec­ture series, “Maple Leaf & Stars and Stripes.” For talks dur­ing the com­ing fall semes­ter, please check out the poster:

Final­ly, our blog wouldn’t have been such a suc­cess with­out our faith­ful con­trib­u­tors and read­ers. Addi­tion­al­ly, we’d like to thank the Unit­ed States Embassy in Berlin for their gen­er­ous fund­ing. Last but not least, we ded­i­cate this final blog to Dr. Mar­ti­na Kohl for her unwa­ver­ing support.

We had 9 great years and hope you did, too!

 

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