The Trans-Atlanticist

The Trans-Atlanticist

The Politics Podcast: 2024 European and US Preview

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In the final episode of 2023, Sola and Danner look ahead to 2024. They discuss three issues that will influence a number of elections in 2024: the immigration crisis, the war in Ukraine, and the macroeconomic situation.

They then use these issues as a lens to analyze five upcoming elections: the Russian presidential elections in March; the EU parliamentary elections in June; the east German state elections in Brandenburg, Thuringia, and Saxony in September; the expected parliamentary elections in the UK; and the mother of all presidential elections in the USA in November.

The Politics Podcast: 2023 European Year in Review

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In our wrap-up of political developments in the EU in 2023, Sola and Danner discuss the results of the five big European elections this year in Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Are we seeing the entrenchment of the far-right across Europe? Or are centrist politicians regaining the advantage? The second topic is the European Council Summit that took place last week and that yielded some mixed results for Ukraine, due to the obstinance of Viktor Orban, PM of Hungary. Lastly, we evaluate the performance of the German coalition government, which had a rough and tumble 2023.

Jane Addams, Advocate for All Part 2: Ideas that Shaped Chicago, the US, and the World

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In the second of our two-episode series about Jane Addams, we continue telling the story of Hull House and Addams' impact on the development of the the city of Chicago. Addams was a keen advocate for worker's rights and helped mediate the labor unrest that had been shaking the city since the Haymarket Affair of 1886. We survey the long list of projects she supported from juvenile justice reform to children's music education and from housing reform to the building of playgrounds and libraries. We also meet her partners in her projects, including Ellen Gates Starr, Eleanor Sophia Smith, John Dewey, Lillian Wald, and Johnny the Greek.

The models of community improvement she created in Chicago began to spread around the US and the world as Addams herself began to set her sights on international issues, namely imperialism, militarization, and war. Her concerns about armed conflict led her to become Chair of the Woman's Peace Party and President of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. We also outline the criticism she endured as a result of her peace activism.

As her health began to fade, she maintained her interest in issues of racial justice and community involvement at Hull House.

Jane Addams, Advocate for All Part 1: Early Life to the Founding of Hull House

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"The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life." Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (1910)

In the first of our two episodes on the life of Jane Addams, we learn about her formative years in a small farming village outside of Chicago, her education, and her relationship with her progressive Republican father, from whom she developed some guiding principles for her life, namely the ideas of Christian stewardship and community engagement. We also learn about her first visits to Europe, where she began to develop her conviction that human beings are not helpless and subject to the unfathomable forces of history, but that we have agency and can change the world in positive ways. Lastly, we explore the origins of her belief in mediation and dialogue, the idea that we can never solve the problems facing society without understanding one another and speaking to one another. All of these ideas coalesced with the founding of the first settlement house in Chicago by Addams in 1889, Hull House, a place where immigrants and Americans, rich and poor, black and white, young and old, men and women could come together in order to address the problems facing the fastest-growing city on the planet.

Our two expert guests are Rima Lunin Schultz and Ann Durkin Keating.

Rima is a Jane Addams scholar.  She co-edited "Women Building Chicago: A Biographical Dictionary” and most recently co-authored "Eleanor Smith's Hull-House Songs: Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams Chicago".   

Ann is professor of history at North Central College in Naperville, IL, and the co-editor of the "Encyclopedia of Chicago".

LadyFiction #21: Solastalgia-The Feeling in the Anthropocene

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Poet and scholar Lindsay Tuggle is Stefanie Schaefer’s guest in this
episode. They talk about "solastalgia," the feeling of loss that occurs
when you are "home" but your home is destroyed. This concept has acquired a new global relevance in the Anthropocene as a climate-related mental health concept. They also discuss solastalgia’s meanings as pathology and as a strategy for resilience. Lastly, they assess the impact of Walt Whitman’s Civil War poetry on Tuggle's own poetic engagement with her lost home in Mayfield, KY, which was wiped out by a tornado and a flood in 2021.

History of Chicago Part 4: The Rise and Fall of Germanic Culture (1865-1917)

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In Episode 4 of our history of Chicago, we discuss the continuing growth and then decline of German Chicago, which largely disappeared with America's entry into WWI in 1917.

Topics include the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), which united the German community in Chicago; the importance of German-language newspapers, namely the Illinois Staats-Zeitung; the impact of the Great Chicago Fire (1871) on German communities on the North Side; the next wave of German immigrants who came as industrial workers to help rebuild the city; the left-wing political activities of these new workers, which led to the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 and the Haymarket Square Massacre of 1886; the first conflict between the German Empire and the United States as seen in the Samoan Crisis (1887-1889); the death of German-language newspapers and culture with the onset of WWI; the final wave of German immigrants fleeing communism and the loss of the territories of Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia following WWII; and the lasting contributions made be German immigrants to Chicago, including gym class in schools, playgrounds in public parks, and homes for senior citizens.

History of Chicago Part 3: The First German Immigrants (1833-1865)

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In Part 3 of our history, Dr. Sola and Dr. Wuepper, historian of German immigration, explore the first two waves of Germanic migrants to Chicago, the so-called Dreiziger (the 30-ers, the ones who arrived in the 1830s) and the Vierundachtziger (the 48-ers, or the ones who arrived due to the 1848 revolutions in various German-speaking states, duchies, and principalities in what is now modern Germany).

Topics include the rapid growth of Chicago between 1833 and 1880, when it grew from a mere 200 to over 500,000 inhabitants, making it the world's fastest growing city; the difficulty of defining "German immigrants" in early Chicago because Germany did not yet exist as a nation-state; tensions between the 30-ers and the 48-ers; the strong political beliefs of the 48-ers, including a staunch opposition to slavery and secession; the shift of their political support from the pro-immigrant Democratic Party to the anti-slavery Republican Party of Abe Lincoln; the importance of beer to the German immigrants, as seen in the Lager Beer Riot of 1855; the creation and deployment of so-called ethnic regiments, including German ethnic regiments, during the Civil War; and the importance of German community associations, namely the Turnverein or Turner halls as well as singing societies and choirs, throughout the 1800s.

History of Chicago Part 2: Resistance, Removal, Erasure

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In the second episode of the series, Dr. Sola and his guests, Dr. Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Ohio State University-Newark) and Dr. Karamanski (Loyola University-Chicago) tell the story of the indigenous people of Chicagoland from the War of 1812 through their violent removal from the region.

Specific topics include the various origin stories of the Potawatomi; the willingness of tribes to accommodate and compromise with Americans; the Indian tribe as a construct of the US government; the Indian Removal Act of 1830; the Blackhawk war of 1832; the Treaty of Chicago of 1833; the phenomenon of "Treaty Chiefs," as seen in the cases of Billy Caldwell (British-Potawatomi) and Alexander Robinson (British-Otatwa); the unique story of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi; the development of Indian boarding schools, whose purpose was to destroy all aspects of indigenous culture and identity; the diverse perspectives of various Indian tribes and bands in their responses to the arrival of Americans; and the Native American perspective about the concept of land ownership.

History of Chicago Part 1: Native Ground

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In the first episode of this series about Chicago history, Dr. Sola and his expert guests, Dr. Keating (North Central College) and Dr. Karamanski (Loyola University-Chicago) discuss the history of the indigenous people of Chicagoland from the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago through the War of 1812.

Specific topics include the arrival of Paleo-Indians and the development of Mississippian culture, which reached its summit in the indigenous metropolis of Cahokia; the arrival of European traders and settlers; the machinations of European powers in Paris and London to exert control over the region; the long period of peace between the first French traders and indigenous people; the first non-indigenous settler in Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who was of African not European descent; the rise of the mixed-race Metis culture around Chicago; the resistance of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa to American expansionism; and the outbreak of violence during the War of 1812, which culminated with the burning of Fort Dearborn by an indigenous army.

LadyFiction #20: My Body Is Not Your Battleground

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Stefanie Schäfer kicks off the new season of LadyFiction with her guest Katharina Motyl. They confront many difficult and complex questions about feminist solidarity with the Iran protests, imperial feminism, and the Western obsession with the burka as the only symbol of female oppression, liberation, freedom, or self-determination. Mohja Kahf's poem "My Body Is Not Your Battleground" provides a starting point for reflecting on Arab and Muslim feminism, then and now, and on the potential of a European Feminist Foreign Policy.

About this podcast

Andrew Sola explores the past, present, and future of relations between Europe and the United States with scholars, artists, authors, politicians, journalists, and business leaders. Based at the Amerikazentrum in Hamburg, the Trans-Atlanticist provides you with insights from the thought leaders who are shaping the trans-Atlantic relationship every single day.

by Andrew Sola


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