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Prof. Laura Bieger

NEW FACULTY: Interview with Prof. Laura Bieger

Date:18 October 2017

From Germany, Prof. Laura Bieger comes to the University of Groningen as a new professor and new chair of the Department of American Studies. We sat down with her recently for an interview to ask her to reflect on her first weeks in Groningen and discuss future...

Senate Nuclear Option

Woe Democracy! The filibuster is on its way out, but is that bad? (by Jelte Olthof)

Date:18 April 2017

On Monday, 10th Circuit judge Neil Gorsuch took his seat on the Supreme Court, ending a highly polarized confirmation hearing. Picked by President Trump to fill the seat of the late originalist hero Antonin Scalia, the staunchly conservative Gorsuch will not...

Harvard rally to support undocumented students

Radical Hope (by Anne M. Martínez)

Date:20 January 2017

On the eve of the 2016 U.S. presidential election I was in Denmark, preparing to give a lecture on my research the following day. I was nearly a week into the flu, and as the evening passed, I started to lose my voice. Little did I know, this literal loss of...

Lies Becker

Washington DC: A Series of Fortunate Events (by Lies Becker)

Date:10 January 2017

In February of 2016, I travelled to Washington DC to do a 3-month internship at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. During my stay in the United States, I met many interesting as well as influential people and visited places that are not easily accessible...

Barry Goldwater

American Studies Notes on the Elections IV

Date:24 November 2016
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than a million, but Donald Trump is president. It is kind of ironic that the framers of the Constitution invented the Electoral College to keep demagogues (like Trump) out of the White House—a buffer between the...
The White House

American Studies Notes on the Elections III

Date:20 November 2016

For those who voted for Donald J. Trump for president, his ascent to the White House marks the end of an old (bad) era and the beginning of a new (great) one. But it is neither. Trump’s election is merely more of the same - just the latest, predictable bubbling...

Donald J. Trump

American Studies Notes on the Elections II

Date:17 November 2016

Last week, I read about neo-Orientalism, a phenomenon that scholars have located in post-9/11 cultures and that describes a negatively-biased position of Islam and Muslims in Western imagination (and society). While I am very critical about Said's Oriental...

Trump and Clinton

American Studies Notes on the Elections

Date:15 November 2016

I find the election result “deplorable,” as Hillary Clinton might say, for the confidence it will give groups like the KKK and others in articulating notions of white supremacy and other forms of hatred and prejudice. I am deeply concerned about the implications...


Dancing to Success (by Holly West)

Date:14 November 2016

Writing a thesis is a combination of freedom, dedication, and the strange underlying terror that somehow, regardless of the number of back ups you make, you will manage to delete your thesis—and thus end your life as you know it.

First weeks in Arizona

AS Students in Arizona: The First Weeks (by Lotte Twaalfhoven)

Date:05 October 2016

For the past few weeks Saskia, Kas, and I have been able to call Northern Arizona University our home. The first day we arrived on campus we already met people who we now call family. Our NAU family consists of Kas, Saskia, Amy, Lucie, Sandra and I and we go...

At Vught prison

Journey from American Studies to a Master’s in “Global Criminology” (by Jill van Rijt)

Date:29 March 2016

In 2013 I completed my Bachelor in American Studies at the University of Groningen. I have never been a person who knew what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do when I was young. Choosing American Studies was not a strategic choice or coordinated move, I...

No maps, no back-up, no gps

AS Student Abel Spithost and the 2016 Mongol Rally

Date:21 January 2016

This summer AS student Abel Spithost and fellow student Luca Germani are taking part in the 2016 Mongol Rally and driving a crappy old car from the UK to Mongolia with no knowledge of cars whatsoever, no backup, and no support… what could possibly go wrong...

Photo by Richard Terborg

It’s the Lidl Things That Matter (by Layla Mahmood)

Date:10 December 2015

I love a bit of good quality cheap brie, or the freshly baked five-for-one euro croissant deal going on at Lidl as I write. I feel shameless in my adoration of the cheap German supermarket, as it has now almost become a rite of passage for young folk in their...


Personhood, Anthropomorphism and Heroism in "Max" (by Dejan Duric)

Date:30 November 2015

That canines have a special place in our hearts is not a secret. As Mark Twain said, “[h]eaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in” (qtd in Pain). In what follows, I will analyze the contemporary, spectacular representation...

Local cyclists pass a group of refugees sleeping on a bicycle path

How Sustainable is the Current EU Refugee Regime? (by Dr. Marietta Messmer)

Date:14 October 2015

In late September, news media reported that 4,200 refugees had reached the Netherlands within a single week; roughly 8,000 refugees currently arrive in Germany per day; 42,000 are reported to be waiting at the Hungarian border; and 64,000 in Macedonia. According...

Pirmin Olde Weghuis

American Studies on the Hill (by Pirmin Olde Weghuis)

Date:06 August 2015

Would you work for a branch of government that has a fourteen percent approval rating yet ninety-five percent of incumbents get reelected? Yes, maybe, but what if I tell you that last year voters looked more favorably on head lice than on their federal legislature?...

Eloy Detention Center

Dream Detained: Immigration Detention in the United States (by Cynthia Van Der Heyden)

Date:04 June 2015

(Editor’s note: MA student Cynthia has just returned from a 3-month internship working on the “Undocumented Voices” project at Arizona State University)

Carolin Lehmann

Carolin Lehmann’s Mission: Graduate School 2015

Date:18 May 2015

About me
I graduated with a B.A. in American Studies in July 2014. This fall, I will be attending Graduate School at North Carolina State University (NCSU: studying Political Communication (M.S.). My decision to pursue a Master’s degree...

Creating The Most Desirable Address in the World (by Coen Nij Bijvank)

Date:14 May 2014

On Manhattan’s 57th Street, just south of Central Park, a huge building has been under construction over the past few years. With its 1004 feet (306 meters), One57 is the tallest residential structure in the Western hemisphere. The apartments in the skinny...

The painting 'Surrender of Lord Cornwallis' by John Trumbull

Joel Barlow and the New Franco-American Alliance (by Dr. Wil Verhoeven)

Date:28 April 2014

Over the past few decades, America’s founding father biography industry has churned out hundreds and hundreds of accounts of the lives of Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison and Jay. Dutifully reiterating the familiar feats of the men...

Hannah Arendt and the Occupy Movement (by Dr. Tim Jelfs)

Date:20 February 2014

Academics spend time with books the way regular folks spend time with other people, and one book I’ve been spending a lot of time with recently (dating, almost) is Hannah Arendt’s Crises of the Republic (1972).

“We’re Uncool”: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014) (by Dr. Amanda Gilroy)

Date:10 February 2014

It’s been a week since Philip Seymour Hoffman died. So much has been written about him in the past seven days that it’s hard to say more. It’s striking that we are still talking about him. So many celebrity deaths generate chatter on news and entertainment...

Chris Christie and the Legacy of New Jersey’s Rosa Parks (by Dr. Michael Stewart Foley)

Date:22 October 2013

It is hard to imagine any circumstances in which a public official would try to openly dismantle the legacy of Rosa Parks. But since taking office in 2010, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — the man Time labeled the “Master of Disaster,” in a nod to the compassionate...