Resource Guide for American Studies


I’ll be collecting links and resources for Europeans who are engaged in American Studies. In my experience, it can sometimes be difficult to find material for teaching that is current, scholarly, and engaging for students. I hope this will help enliven classroom discussion and engagement with contemporary American culture and media without having to rely solely on the big and oftentimes biased news agency releases. Even though social media and the internet have made the search for material significantly easier over the last few years, the goal of this effort is to offer material that might not have made its way into the European sphere yet. This is a work in progress, so check back often!

General news other than CNN or FOX:

NPR news (National Public Radio). Mostly unbiased, honest news coverage. This website also links to other items, such as art and life, race and culture, health, and other current issues. Also check out NPR’s Wait wait… don’t tell me, which is a news quiz that provides great and humorous insights into the news and issues of the week. The website provides audio links so that students can listen to the stories and improve their listening skills.

The Huffington Post is a more standard newspaper and blog site.

The New Yorker is a news magazine that often features informative articles about American culture, literature, and current issues. The articles are longer than your typical newspaper article and tackle difficult and controversial issues. There is a limit of free articles that can be accessed per month. Subscription rates are fair. Also check out the Borowitz Report, the news, “reshuffled.” These are NOT real news items, but satire about an event. It’s hilarious!

The Chronicle of Higher Education is an essential source of news for everybody who teaches at universities! News coverage centers on education, student life, science and the humanities, and academics in general. Some of the content is only accessible through a subscription, which is well worth the money, in my opinion.  The Chronicle also has a wonderful facebook feed. Just go to facebook and like their page.

Vitae, a part of the Chronicle of Higher Education, offers a job search site, advice for students, job seekers, and teachers, and a syllabi database with free download.

Definitely check out the TED Talks. Topics vary, but are always informative, eye-opening, and often funny. Definitely something for everybody in here.

Current Issues


June 2015

Here is a great blog post about the recent racial violence in the US. It is a compilation of thoughtful news coverage from the last few days and titled “History Matters: Historians Respond to the Charleston Shooting.”  It also addresses issues with the flying of the Confederate flag in the American South.

May 2015  

Debate on STEM v. the Humanities: This Op-Ed features the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities speaking about why the humanities matter in education (May 2015):

“Under-prepared for the Profession?” Here is a great article about the lack of knowledge among advanced students about the American university system and how it especially affects underrepresented student populations.

April 2015

A scary development in the American education system: the dropping of foreign-language requirements for graduate degrees in the sciences. This blog post reveals the unfortunate conviction of many programs that multilingualism is an unnecessary skill nowadays.

November and December 2014

Check out this great portfolio by the New Yorker, showcasing images from the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

I like this story that appeared in the Daily Yonder today (Dec. 15) about the “Geography of Happiness.”It’s a study by Penn State University researchers that maps “mentally unhappy days per week” of Americans across the country. The results are quite astounding.

The Washington Post today features a story about teacher burnout. The article is written by an English teacher in an urban, high-poverty school district in LA.

President Obama on the Stephen Colbert show: Obama on Healthcare, or watch The full segment with the POTUS (President of the United States).

Several cases of police killings of black teenagers have caused outrage over the last month. Here is a post addressing the issue  from an academic point of view.

College binge drinking and sexual assault have also been in the news. Check out these posts (this is just a tiny fraction of the coverage on this topic): 1. Protecting the Party 2. Doubt about the Rolling Stone article that set off the sexual assault problem 3. Reporting on Rape





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