The Teacher Academy addressed secondary school teachers from all German states, in particular multipliers in the field of English and the Social Sciences, senior teachers, teacher trainers, secondary school curriculum planners, representatives of ministries of education, textbook writers, and educators. It also welcomed trainee teachers. The conference atmosphere was one of intense exchange with American specialists on interdisciplinary aspects of U.S. politics, economics, and American cultural studies. Lectures, workshops and discussions were held in English. The forty-five participants from fifteen German states met for four busy days in an ideal venue. Information was exchanged through plenary lectures and the discussion of innovative teaching units in parallel workshops. The faculty, who explored selected historical, political, and cultural aspects of Lincoln’s legacy consisted of Dr. John Dean, Professor of American Studies at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France, Dr. David Goldfield, Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Dr. Reinhard Isensee, Professor of American Studies at Humboldt University Berlin. They were assisted by my Ph.D. student Marko Schubert. Five plenary lectures are hereby presented as a thematic issue of the American Studies Journal.
The Teacher Academy was jointly organized with Dr. Martina Kohl of the U.S. Embassy Berlin and the Center for United States Studies at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (ZUSAS). Dr. Helena Kane Finn, Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs and ZUSAS director Dr. Hans-Jürgen Grabbe, Professor of British and American Studies at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg spoke at the opening ceremony. I like to express my gratitude to them and also like to thank the American Embassy for their generous support and competent cooperation.
For their professional assistance in preparing the online edition of “Lincoln’s Legacy: Nation Building, Democratic Development, Race Relations and Civil Rights” in the American Studies Journal, I would like to thank Dipl.-Angl. Carsten Hummel of the Center for United States Studies and my Ph.D. student Andreas Hübner. Last but not least, my wholehearted thanks go to Martina Kohl for accepting my suggestion to present Lincoln and his enduring legacy as a theme for the annual U.S. Embassy Teacher Academy. Her organizational skills combined with an intimate knowledge of American cultural history made this cooperation a truly enjoyable endeavor.
Jena, September 2009