Sturm, Twang and the Imaginary Wild West in Europe
Thursday, May 28, 2009
My Article to Appear in The Western Way magazine
Truck Stop plays Pullman City Harz, July 2007. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber
I've learned that a (short) version of "Sturm, Twang and Sauerkraut Cowboys," the long essay/paper I wrote on the European country music scene, is to appear this summer in The Western Way Magazine, published by the Western Music Association. The magazine is described as the only professional magazine dedicated to the promotion of western music. Yee-Hah! I'm trying to whittle down my pictures to send the editor just four or five.... not easy!
Even as a shorter piece, I'm looking forward to seeing it in print. I presented versions of the paper last year (and the end of 2007) in various venues, including the International Country Music Conference in Nashville, and at the Autry National Center in LA.
Meanwhile, I've posted a pdf of the long version on my web site. Click HERE -- I'll also put a link in this blog's sidebar.
For several years I've been exploring the imaginary wild west in contemporary Europe -- observing and experiencing the many ways that Europeans embrace the mythology of the American Frontier to enhance, imbue or create their own identities. (Or, indeed, just have fun.) On this blog I will post pictures, stories and links relating to this multi-faceted subculture, from European country music to rodeos, theme parks, round-ups and saloons....
I'm an American writer, photographer, and public speaker long based in Europe. I've chronicled Jewish cultural developments and other contemporary European Jewish issues for more than 20 years and currently coordinate the web site www.jewish-heritage-europe.eu. My latest books are "National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe," published in 2007, and "Letters from Europe (and Elsewhere)," published in 2008.
I also am working on "Sturm, Twang and Sauerkraut Cowboys: Imaginary Wild Wests in Contemporary Europe," an exploration of the American West in the European imagination for which I won a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEH summer stipend grant. In 2015 I was the Distinguished Visiting Chair in Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston, SC.