The Trans-Atlanticist

The Trans-Atlanticist

The Politics Podcast: Mass Shooting in Hamburg, Feminist Foreign Policy and Ukraine War Update

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Our first politics podcast of 2024 begins on a tragic note after the mass shooting in Hamburg, which claimed the lives of at least 7 victims and injured many more. The Amerikazentrum would like to express its heartfelt condolences to the victims' families and friends, as well as to the all of the citizens of Hamburg. After a discussion of gun laws in Germany, Sola and Danner turn to the concept of feminist foreign policy and describe its place in wider foreign policy debates about power-based approaches and humanitarian approaches. Lastly, they provide analysis of recent developments in Ukraine and discuss the situation in Bakhmut, Chancellor Scholz's visit to DC, and the simmering crises in Moldova and Georgia.

LadyFiction #16: Gasp! Gossip's Public Intimacies in the 19th Century

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In this special Women's History Month episode, Stefanie Schäfer discusses gossip
with American Studies Scholar Katrin Horn, head of the research project Following the trajectories of American artists in Rome, and specifically the making of actress Charlotte Cushman's celebrity persona, they read the functions of gossip in 19th-century US magazines between the intimate and the political, between escapism and nation building, and they also ponder the question of how gossip became gendered.

A Better Democracy Is Possible Part 2: From Theory to Real World Application

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In Episode 2 of A Better Democracy Is Possible, Antoine Vergne from Missions Publique and our sortition expert Ahmed Radi Teleb continue the conversation about new democracy initiatives. They highlight current efforts by the European Commission to engage citizens throughout the European Union in the EU decision-making process regarding issues such as the reduction of food waste and the future of the internet. Other topics include the feeling of democratic euphoria that results when citizens participate in citizens assemblies as well as the evolutionary basis for democratic deliberation.

A Better Democracy Is Possible Part 1: An Introduction to Sortition and Deliberation

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The year 2022 proved to be a hard test for the resilience of democracies, and 2023 continues to test the strength of democracies worldwide. Threats are both external and internal. Authoritarian governments seek to undermine democratic societies with disinformation campaigns from the outside. Or, as in Russia's case, they simply seek to conquer and obliterate their democratic neighbors. Meanwhile, home-grown groups seek to attack democracy from within, through election denialism, conspiracy theories, and political violence.

However, there is good news for democracy! It can be seen in a number of new and innovative democratic practices developing throughout the world. The two most important of these are sortition and deliberation, the practice of randomly selecting citizens to meet, learn, and discuss an issue of public importance, and then giving them the power to shape the solution to the problem.

In the first of this two-episode miniseries, deliberation expert Antoine Vergne from Missions Publique and sortition expert Ahmed Radi Teleb provide you with an introduction to these new democracy initiatives.

Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents

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Welcome to Season 4 of the Trans-Atlanticist at the Amerikazentrum in Hamburg. We are republishing this episode from 2021 (Season 2) in honor of African-American Heritage Month. In this episode, host of LadyFiction Dr. Stefanie Schaefer and her guest Prof. Alexandra Ganser from the University of Vienna discuss Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents.

If you are interested in learning more about African-American culture, check out our specially curated OverDrive Reading List, which highlights African-American history and books by Black authors.

Browse the list here:


The Politics Podcast: 2022 Year in Review

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In the final episode of 2022, Andrew and Günter discuss the important transatlantic events of 2022 and (mis)forecast the future. This episode's six topics include the war in Ukraine, the political climate in the USA, the continuing rise of the far right in Europe, the unfolding EU corruption scandal, general macroeconomic trends in Europe and the USA, and finally the evolution of the great global struggle between liberal democracies and autocracies. Happy New Year!

NovelRomAntics: Literature of Chicago Series: Stuart Dybek's The Coast of Chicago

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In this episode, host Douglas Cowie and his guest, Gregory Miller, discuss Stuart Dybek's 1990 book of short stories, The Coast of Chicago. In particular, they place Dybek's depiction of the shifting demographics of the Pilsen neighborhood into broader contexts, and also look at Dybek's lyrical, musical writing style, and the effects it accomplishes.

NovelRomAntics: Literature of Chicago Series: Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems

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In this episode, host Douglas Cowie and his guest, Professor Michael Coyle, discuss Carl Sandburg's 1919 collection, Chicago Poems. They interpret a handful of poems, including his most famous poem, Chicago, which begins with the memorable lines: "Hog butcher of the World / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat / Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler / Stormy, husky, brawling, / City of Big Shoulders." Also, they assess Sandburg's place in American poetry more generally.

The Reichsbürger Conspiracy: Understanding Extremism in Modern Germany

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On December 7, 2022, German police announced that they had uncovered a plot to overthrow the government and install a new king of Germany. Who are these seditionists, known as Reichsbürger or citizens of the Reich? What are their goals? How do they interact with other extremist groups in Germany? What can the German government do-and what can't it do-to manage the evolving threats of home-grown extremism?

Andrew Sola and Günter Danner answer these questions in this special episode of The Trans-Atlanticist Politics Podcast.

The US Mid-Term Elections: Republican Failure or Democratic Success?

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Andrew Sola of the Amerikazentrum-Hamburg teams up with Sarah Wagner and David Sirakov of the Atlantische Akademie in Rheinland-Pfalz to analyze the 2022 mid-term elections in the United States.

What lessons can we learn about the health of American democracy? What issues are driving American voters? How is Donald Trump's influence on American politics evolving? What can we expect between now and the next presidential election in 2024?

This podcast episode is a cooperation between The Trans-Atlanticist and the Atlantische Akademie's podcast, Amerikas Verfassung: Politik und Gesellschaft in den USA. It will be published on both podcast channels. Please show your support for transatlantic relations by subscribing!

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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