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Arab American Literature & Culture 3rd Annual U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy 2005 Bad Kreuznach, Oct 29


The Third US Embassy Teacher Academy explored the topic of Arab American culture. Fifty junior and senior teachers, teacher trainers, and textbook editors were invited to Bad Kreuznach to take part in an intensive program consisting of lectures, workshops and art presentations.

The conference was opened by Scott Rauland from the Frankfurt Consulate General. In the ensuing lectures, the faculty introduced various aspects of the conference topic.

Professor Alfred Hornung (Mainz University) provided a survey over the history of Arab immigration to America, and of Arab-Americans and Muslims in American culture. Professor Anton Escher (Mainz University) followed with an entangling story about the global networks built by Syrian families with a specific focus on the Americas.

After dinner, Lisa Suhair Majaj, a Christian Palestinian author currently living in Cyprus, concluded the first day with a reading of her poetry.
Day two was opened by Prof. Mita Banerjee’s (Siegen University) overview of the portrayal of Arabs and Arab Americans in American media and literature.

Prof. Mark Tessler (University of Michigan) presented the results of extensive polling done in Middle Eastern countries, the conclusions of which attest to both wide-spread appreciation of democratic values and heavy criticism of US foreign policy. In her presentation on legal aspects, Arab-American professor Ghada Qaisi Audi (currently at Bonn University) charted the history of current issues in immigration and integration policies in the US with respect to Arab and Arab Americans.

An exhaustive survey of Arab American literature was provided by Lisa Suhair Majaj, charting a topic virtually unknown in German Gymnasium curricula. The program concluded that day with a film showing of the documentary Forget Bagdhad, the story of exiled Baghdadi Jews now living in Israel and Europe.

The final day of the conference saw workshops by Alfred Hornung on religious topics, Mita Banerjee on recent literary studies approaches to literature and film in the classroom, Anton Escher on the influence of American media on Muslim countries, and by Nicole Waller (Mainz University) on captivity narratives by Americans who had been captured by Muslim slave traders.

The conference provided new approaches in history, cultural geography, film and literature and put an ethnic group on the map of German curricula. The workshops directly related the issues to the EFL classroom.

The Teacher Academy has continued in its third year to successfully provide a national platform for new ideas on teaching about the U.S. and to directly influence American Studies curricula in German high schools. The distributed materials, an anthology of Arab-American writing, “Muslims in America” and a conference reader, find direct access to the EFL classroom.

About the U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy

The U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy addresses the needs of secondary school teachers, in particular multipliers in the fields of English and the Social Sciences. "Fachberater" and "Fachleiter" are encouraged to nominate a junior colleague for the conference. All lectures and workshops will be held in English.

With this conference, the U.S. Embassy continues a nationwide tradition in its work with teachers. The U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy differs from comparable events such as the annual American Studies Seminar (Fachleiterkonferenz) in that it is co-organized by a different German university and takes place in a different German state each year. The program involves faculty from Germany and the U.S. and thus strengthens the cooperation between German and American institutions in the area of teacher training.

This year’s Teacher Academy is organized by the U.S. Embassy Berlin in cooperation with the American Studies Department at Mainz University and the Atlantische Akademie Rheinland-Pfalz. The program has been developed in collaboration with Professor Dr. Alfred Hornung, Mainz University, and Dr. Werner Kremp, Atlantische Akademie Rheinland-Pfalz.


The U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy 2005 has been officially recognized as teacher training by:

  • Freistaat Bayern, Staatsministerium fuer Unterricht und Kultus
  • Land Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ministerium fuer Kultus, Jugend und Sport
  • Land Brandenburg, Ministerium fuer Bildung, Jugend und Sport
  • Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Landesinstitut fuer Schule und Ausbildung
  • Land Niedersachsen, Kultusministerium
  • Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ministerium fuer Schule und Weiterbildung
  • Land Rheinland-Pfalz, Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft, Weiterbildung, Forschung und Kultur
  • Freistaat Sachsen, Staatsministerium fuer Kultus
  • Freistaat Thueringen, Kultusministerium


The U.S. Embassy will cover the costs for the event with support from the Atlantische Akademie Rheinland-Pfalz. Registered participants will have to cover their travel expenses and a conference fee of EUR 50.

Conference Site

The Teacher Academy will take place at the:
Caravelle Hotel Im Park
Weinkauffstr. 1
55543 Bad Kreuznach
Telefon 0671 / 374-0
Fax 0671 / 374-888

Location of hotel

Bad Kreuznach


Unfortunately, there are more applicants than spaces available. Applicants will be notified by mid-September. Registration deadline is August 31:

by e-mail: - Subject: "Teacher Academy 2005"
by fax: (030) 311 07-409 (Registration Form)
by mail:
Amerikanische Botschaft
"Teacher Academy 2005"
Hardenbergstr. 22-24
10623 Berlin


Dr. Martina Kohl
Amerikanische Botschaft
Hardenbergstr. 22-24, 10623 Berlin
phone: (0)30 31107-454, Fax: (0)30 31107-409