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American Space Leipzig Winter Newsletter 2016
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Newsletter Winter 2016/2017

Looking back and looking forward

The fall at American Studies has been filled with a wide variety of events.

We thank all our guests, speakers, helpers, and supporters for the wonderful cooperation. Together we have deepened our mission to strengthen German-American dialogue among scholars, students, and the broader community.

We are also looking forward to welcoming a wide arrange of guests, speakers, and experts during our winter schedule 2016/2017.

Below, you can find a list of our upcoming events. For more information, please go to our homepage.

Please click on the picture to download our winter calendar as a PDF.
1) Winter Schedule 2016/2017
 
January
10 January: Time Management: How to Organize Your Student Life: An ASLAA Workshop
11 January: What‘s Going On In North American Homiletics?
18 January: The Civil Rights Movement and Its Legacy
19 January: Before the Presidential Inauguration
23 January:
Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Roundtable
25 January: Die USA und China - Kooperation oder Konflikt?

February
01 February: Social Media and Its Impact on American English—OMG
07 February: Black History Month Roundtable
15 February: Munich Security Conference and German-American Relations: A Symposium
21 February: Gender Politics and the American Work World

28 February: American Film Showcase: A Screening

For further information and eventual room changes, please consult our homepage.

www.americanspace-leipzig.de

2) Event Highlights

17 October: Dr. Mireya Solís Discusses TPP and TTIP
20 October: 4th Annual Teacher Workshop
03 November: "Road to the White House"
23 November: "Presidential Election 2016: Where Do We Go From Here?"

3) The 3-Q Interview
On the US Presidential Election 2016 with Picador Professor and author Paul La Farge

4) American Space Leipzig in the News
09 November: Implications of Donald Trump's Election at Phoenix Runde
09 November: American Space Director, Crister S. Garrett, Interviewed by Several Radio Stations about Election Outcome
11 November: “Trump und das Versagen der Demokraten”: Crister S. Garrett in Tagesspiegel
12 November: "Populismus:Eine Generationenaufgabe": Crister S. Garrett in Zeit Online

5) Recent Acquisitions
New Books at the American Space Leipzig
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2) Event Highlights

Dr. Mireya Solís Discusses TPP and TTIP


On October 17, Dr. Mireya Solís, senior fellow and the Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies at the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies, joined American Space Leipzig for a roundtable discussion under the title “Has the Transpacific Replaced the Transatlantic?”. 35 guests attended this event, which was live streamed.

You can watch the video from our event below:

American Space Leipzig Invites 80 Teachers for 4th Teachers' Workshop


On October 20, 2016, American Space Leipzig invited teachers from all over Mitteldeutschland for its fourth yearly teachers' workshop. This year, we welcomed around 80 teachers to discuss and learn about the presidential election 2016. Three experts of American politics, history, and society gave talks on different issues within the American presidential election.

You can read more about the workshop on our homepage.
 

American Space Leipzig Director Crister S. Garrett Discussed the Presidential Elections


On November 3, American Space Leipzig director, Crister S. Garrett, talked about the 2016 presidential elections in the United States. 50 interested people attended the live-streamed event under the title “Road to the White House”.

You can watch the video of the event below:
Road to the White House - Lecture and Q&A with Prof. Crister Garrett

 

Professor Paul S. Rundquist and Professor Crister S. Garrett discuss the future of American and Transatlantic Politics


On November 23, presidential politics experts Professor Paul S. Rundquist from Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg and American Space Leipzig Director, Professor Crister S. Garrett, invited to a panel discussion under the title: “Presidential Election – Where do we go from here?”. About 60 people attended the 2-hour, live-streamed event.

You can watch the video of the event below:
Presidential Election - Where do We Go From Here?

3) The 3-Q Interview


In the 3-Question Interview American Space Leipzig asks experts, professionals, and prominent personalities three compact questions.

Please go to our homepage to find our past 3-Qs.
Paul La Farge is the current holder of the Picador Chair for Literature at the Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany. He is the author of four books and numerous short stories and essays. La Farge’s diverse work has received widespread critical acclaim and earned him a number of prizes and distinctions, among them a New York Times Editor's Pick, the Bay Area Book Reviewers' Association Award for Fiction, and the California Book Awards' Silver Medal for Fiction. Currently, he is working on another novel, The Night Ocean, under contract with Penguin.
1. There are so many explanations out there for how Donald Trump won the election. What would you want to share with German and European observers of American politics and society as a central reason for his success in this political season?

As a fiction writer, I'm hardly an expert on the nuances of US politics; but  I'd remind folks in Germany that Trump got nearly two million fewer votes than Clinton did, and that he'll be the US President only because of an institution, the Electoral College, which originally existed in order to give slaveholding states a voice out of proportion to their small white (i.e., voting) populations. That said, to me, this election reads more like Clinton's loss than it does like Trump's win: if young voters and minority voters had come out for Clinton in anything like the same numbers they did for Obama, we'd be having a different conversation.

Why did Trump get *anyone* excited, given his inexperience and his many known faults? I'd say, as many people do, that he gave white voters the feeling that he was speaking to them, in a way that Clinton didn't. And of course he was: Trump built his candidacy on a series of explicit racist polemics (the wall with Mexico, the ban on Muslim immigration, the promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants, etc.). Most of his other proposals (to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, to bring back manufacturing jobs, to maintain "law and order") are implicitly part of the same picture: they're promises to white America, rich and poor, that whiteness will remain a powerful virtue in the United States. The fact that Trump was successful on these terms is to our nation's shame.

2. How would you go about defining the difference between populism and democracy? More pointedly, is Trump's victory a reflection of democracy or a populist movement or some combination thereof?

I'll leave the definitions to the political scientists! But I'd say that Trump's victory is surely a reflection of Fox News's 24/7 alarmism, especially with regards to racial unrest, immigration fears, etc.; and more generally to a media environment in which it's possible for right-wing voters to have their own facts (climate change doesn't exist, Mexicans are rapists, and Hillary Clinton is a sex trafficker who *may have murdered children with her own hands*: seriously, the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones put that one out there). If you'll believe anything, you'll believe Trump, too.

3. You live in a more rural part of New York state. You have mentioned how in your town there are a lot of Trump supporters, Hillary Clinton supporters, and people from both camps are able to talk to each other. We hear elsewhere that in towns there are "Trump coffee shops" and "Clinton coffee shops" but very few "American coffee shops". How are things different in your part of the country?

The thing about my part of the country is that there aren't many coffee shops at all. There's a diner, though, and the food there is so good that everyone goes: Bard College kids with pierced foreheads (or whatever), contractors, farmers, retirees, police officers, nuns. We don't all sit down and talk about politics, thank goodness. In fact, we don't talk much, except to comment on the weather and the excellence of the food. But why should we talk? It's not like, in the absence of suspected Republicans, all the Democrats would start pouring their hearts out to one another, or vice-versa. We're all too busy eating. Still, I think there's some benefit to seeing people who disagree with you served by the same institution that's serving you: you remember that they're real people, who eat the same omelettes you do, the same chili, the same fries.

4) American Space Leipzig in the News

American Space Leipzig featured in mainstream media outlets.

November 09: 
Implications of Donald Trump's Election at Phoenix Runde


American Space Leipzig Director, Crister S. Garrett, was invited to phoenix Runde to discuss the implications of Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the United States.

Visit our homepage to watch the video.
November 09: 
American Space Director, Crister S. Garrett, Interviewed by Several Radio Stations about Election Outcome


On November 9, American Space director, Crister S. Garrett, was interviewed by several radio stations about the outcome of the presidential elections 2016. 

Visit our homepage to listen to the interviews.
November 11: 
“Trump und das Versagen der Demokraten”: Crister S. Garrett in Tagesspiegel


American Space Leipzig Director, Crister S. Garrett, wrote an article for Tagesspiegel about the future of American politics after the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States.

Visit our homepage to read the article.
November 12: 
 "Populismus: Eine Generationenaufgabe": Crister S. Garrett in Zeit Online


American Space Leipzig Director, Crister S. Garrett, wrote an article for Zeit Online on the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States, transatlantic politics, and nationalist populism.

Visit our homepage to read the article.

5) Recent Acquisitions

American Space Leipzig continuously builds a collection of resources about American life ranging from contemporary politics, history, economics, popular culture, social developments, civil rights, the environment, and other diverse issues shaping the country and the global conversation about it. We fill a resource-space between more specialized scholarship that makes up the dedicated American Studies collection found in the Frank Freidel Memorial Library at the Universitätsbibliothek and the more popular literature on the United States available at the Stadtbibliothek Leipzig. The American Space collection provides the community with an unique, serious, and substantial collection of works that can contribute to scholarship or more generally to the study of the wide range of the American experience.

You can browse the new acquisitions at the dedicated American Space lounge area in the West Wing of the Universitätsbibliothek (Beethovenstrasse 15). You will find there on open shelves our new books, new DVDs, and data-banks installed on American Space research stations open to the public.
You can learn more HERE.

Below is a short list of recent acquisitions to whet your appetite!

Xu Guoqi. Chinese and Americans: A Shared History (Harvard University Press, 2014)

“The history of Chinese–American relations is the history of people, not just of high politics and diplomacy. Ours has been a relationship defined largely by the private spheres of Chinese who came to America and Americans who went to China. They went and came as advisers; as students and teachers, as workers, as intellectuals, and as entrepreneurs. And they still do. In this volume of elegant essays on the shared history of Chinese and Americans over the past two centuries, Xu Guoqi retells the sojourns of men well known in their time, but not in ours: of generations of cultural ambassadors who framed the foundation of the Chinese–American relationship we have inherited. Any serious student of U.S.–China relations will want to read this book.”
William C. Kirby, Harvard University
 
“With the support of extensive, highly original, and reliable research, Xu Guoqi has written a truly pathbreaking book, one with the scholarly and intellectual power to redefine some key dimensions of studies on international history in general and Chinese–American relations in particular. It is a book that concentrates on people rather than on the state, government, and various institutions; it presents the important and enlightening “shared history” thesis concerning encounters between the Chinese and the Americans; and without burdening readers with complicated, obscure, or meaningless jargon, it tells a series of fascinating stories.”
Chen Jian, Cornell University


Yong Chen. Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America (Columbia University Press, 2014)
 
“Well organized and breathtakingly broad in its geographic scope, Chop Suey, USA is an utterly original and significant contribution to the field. Yong Chen has done a superb job. No one has attempted anything like this.”
Hasia Diner, New York University
 
“Food is not just about sustenance and taste. It is also about culture, economics, race, and identity. This is made abundantly clear in this fascinating account of the history of Chinese food in America. Chop Suey, USA is a wonderful American story, and a tasty one at that!”
Gordon H. Chang, Stanford University


Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, 2016)
 
“[A] potent, almost hallucinatory novel... It possesses the chilling matter-of-fact power of the slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, with echoes of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift…He has told a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present.”
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“Far and away the most anticipated literary novel of the year, The Underground Railroad marks a new triumph for Whitehead…[A] book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era...The canon of essential novels about America's peculiar institution just grew by one.”
Ron Charles, Washington Post


Laura E. Cressey. Careers in International Affairs (Georgetown University Press, 2014)

This is the essential resource and job-hunting guide for all those interested in international careers in the US government, multinational corporations, banks, consulting companies, international and nongovernmental organizations, the media, think tanks, universities, and more. Careers in International Affairs, now in its ninth edition, provides up-to-date insights about the range of possibilities in the global workplace and tips on how to get these jobs―along with profiles of hundreds of important employers.
 
“An invaluable resource to those students who are eager to use their international relations training productively. It is respected by those who teach, those who employ, and those who want jobs... a trifecta!"
Madeleine K. Albright, Michael and Virginia Mortara Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University; former US Secretary of State


Ellen Fitzpatrick. The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency (Harvard University Press, 2016)


“Why has it taken so long for a woman to be taken seriously when she runs for President of the United States? There are stories to be told about that and Presidential historian Ellen Fitzpatrick does so superbly in The Highest Glass Ceiling. Her account of the women who did, in fact, go for the top job makes for great reading as well as a much-needed filling of important gaps in American political history. This is a terrific book that is chock full of small tidbits that add up to important surprises for anyone who thinks they already know everything about presidential politics.”
—Jim Lehrer, former Executive Editor, PBS NewsHour

“Fitzpatrick’s history is an urgent, crucial contribution… A book unlikely to calm any nerves, but which will at least put our gendered anxieties in historical perspective… Fitzpatrick’s smartly timed book should remind us not to let whatever history we make just pass us by.”
—Rebecca Traister, New York Times Book Review


Eric Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016)
 
“A whirlwind tour of innovators and innovations around the world. But this isn’t just casual sightseeing. Along the way, they describe how these technological wonders came to be, why they are important, and where they are headed.”
—Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google
 
“What globalization was to the economic debates of the late 20th century, technological change is to the early 21st century. Long after the financial crisis and great recession have receded, the issues raised in this important book will be central to our lives and our politics.”
—Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University


Georgia Levenson Keohane. Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance Is Tackling the World's Most Urgent Problems (Columbia University Press, 2016)
 
“Capital and the Common Good shows we are living in a time where financial tools can expand to solve some of the world's most vexing problems. This book is packed with information and inspiration.”
—Robert J. Shiller, Nobel Laureate in Economics
 
“Georgia Levenson Keohane weaves together case studies from around the globe that illustrate the immense potential of market mechanisms to more effectively use public, philanthropic, and private sector funds to address the world's seismic challenges. Capital and the Common Good should be read by policy makers, philanthropic funders, and private investors alike―anyone looking for practical approaches to improve outcomes on the pressing issues of our day, from climate change to public health to economic inequality to urban revitalization.”
—Robert E. Rubin, co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Treasury Secretary


Jan-Werner Müller. What Is Populism? (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
 
"No one has written more insightfully and knowledgeably about Europe's recent democratic decay than Jan-Werner Müller. Here Müller confronts head on the key questions raised by the resurgence of populism globally. How is it different from other kinds of politics, why is it so dangerous, and how can it be overcome? Müller's depiction of populism as democracy's antipluralist, moralistic shadow is masterful."
—Dani Rodrik, Harvard University
 
"Populism is not just antiliberal, it is antidemocratic—the permanent shadow of representative politics. That's Jan-Werner Müller's argument in this brilliant book. There is no better guide to the populist passions of the present."
—Ivan Krastev, International New York Times


J. D. Vance. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (Harper, 2016)
 
“[A] compassionate, discerning sociological analysis…Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Mr. Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans. Imagine that.”
—Jennifer Senior, New York Times
 
“[Hillbilly Elegy] is a beautiful memoir but it is equally a work of cultural criticism about white working-class America….[Vance] offers a compelling explanation for why it’s so hard for someone who grew up the way he did to make it…a riveting book.”
Wall Street Journal


John B. Judis. The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics (Columbia Global Reports, 2016)
 
"A cogent and exceptionally clarifying guide to a political phenomenon that is at once elusive and, yes, explosive."
—Jonathan Alter, New York Times Book Review
 
"The Populist Explosion is far and away the most incisive examination of the central development in contemporary politics: the rise of populism on both the right and the left. John Judis, whose track record is unrivaled, is the ideal author to tackle the subject, and he has done a superb job, placing contemporary trends, including the rise of Donald Trump, in historical perspective. Judis demonstrates the crucial role of the 2008 recession both here and in Europe in discrediting the neoliberal agenda. This is must reading."
—Thomas Edsall, New York Times columnist


Joshua D. Farrington. Black Republicans and the Transformation of the GOP (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
 
"National politics provide Farrington with a sturdy frame, but what makes his book special is his painstaking re-creation of scores of little-known state and local activists and a lost world of two-party competition"
New York Times Book Review
 
"Joshua D. Farrington has given scholars, pundits, and the general public the timeliest book yet about how the GOP purged itself of racial minorities and cast its lot with America's declining white majority. A book that is at once complex and clear, Black Republicans and the Transformation of the GOP is a must read for any student of politics or history interested in how the GOP's failed answers to the race question have pushed a once-great national party to the brink of political self-destruction."
—Devin Fergus, The Ohio State University


Justin, Gest. The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2016)


"Justin Gest brings to his craft a rare combination of scientific rigor and journalistic storytelling, which is why The New Minority stands out. It's a deeply revealing account of what's happened in our communities and in our politics."
—Matt Bai, national political columnist for Yahoo News, and author of All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

"An incredibly timely book. White working class dynamics explain the populist right surge and centre-Left slump in Europe. They underpin rising white suicide rates and Trump support in America. Justin Gest asks poor whites the penetrating questions that help us understand."
—Eric Kaufmann, University of London


Lawrence Buell. The Dream of the Great American Novel (Belknap Press, 2014)
 
“Anyone reading it will learn a great deal about the state and the study of our national literature.”
—Michael Gorra, Wall Street Journal
 
“Demonstrating an enviable command of the full sweep of modern literary history, but also an expert eye for the telling individual case, Buell’s analysis of the dream of the Great American Novel is itself a great work of Americanist literary criticism, brilliantly faithful both to the anachronism and the continuing urgency of the idea at its heart. One comes away from this highly readable book with a new understanding of how certain works of literature have made themselves matter to American readers and, what’s more, an exquisitely balanced sense of the prospects for the novel’s future as an expression of national identity―and national discord.”
—Mark McGurl, Stanford University


Michael H. Armacost. Ballots, Bullets, and Bargains: American Foreign Policy and Presidential Elections (Columbia University Press, 2015)


“Michael H. Armacost has created a detailed history of post–World War II American foreign policy, organized and interpreted in the phases of our presidential election process. His insights about the dynamic interplay between campaign politics and foreign policy do not reassure that the world's major power can produce leaders with the vision and experience to effectively manage America's international engagement. Yet despite political dysfunction, our presidents have shown skill in learning on the job and using our substantial national resources in the service of the security and international interests of the United States.”
Richard H. Solomon, former Director of Policy Planning and Assistant Secretary of State

“Drawing on careful study as well as his own rich experience as a diplomat, Michael H. Armacost offers unique and nuanced insights. This is a superb discussion of U.S. foreign policy in the context of presidential politics since the elections of 1948. With less than two years to go before our next presidential contest, this is an especially timely and thoughtful read.”
—John Negroponte, Former Deputy Secretary of State


Mark Overmann, Sherry Lee Mueller. Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development (Georgetown University Press, 2014)


"Kudos to Sherry Mueller and Mark Overmann. The timing is perfect for this edition. Working World is an essential guide to international careers for a new generation of Americans eager to see, feel, and change their world."
―John Zogby, First Globals: Understanding, Managing, and Unleashing the Potential of Our Millennial Generation

"Working World provides the wisdom you need to start your career in clear and concise prose. Here, invaluable mentoring comes with a binding. Take the vision you have for your high impact career and read this book to catalyze your future."
―Saul Garlick, CEO, ThinkImpact Company


Sebastian Mallaby. The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (Penguin Press, 2016)


“While Greenspan was (and is) a more capable economist than he gets credit for these days, he was an even better politician….This view of Greenspan as a political animal is central to Mallaby’s account.  It is also, along with the often amusing depictions of Greenspan’s personal life, what makes it so much fun to read….. [An] excellent biography.”
New York Times Book Review

“Mallaby’s masterful biography—which doubles as an excellent economic history of the past three decades—tells a story of Greenspan’s technocratic ascent, from his modest boyhood in New York City, to a young adulthood colored by his philosophical attraction to the antigovernment libertarianism of the novelist Ayn Rand, to his career as a high-flying economic consultant, and finally to his rise to the pinnacle of power at the Fed.”
Foreign Affairs

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