This year, September 9-11, the 16th Annual International "Plattdüütsch" Conference will be held in Wausau, Wisconsin. Hosted by the Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin, the conference will feature talks on the history and characteristics of the Low-German dialects and the culture and traditions of "Platt" speakers around the world. The Max Kade Institute will be represented with an exhibit and talks by Professor Mark Louden and Antje Petty. And there will be plenty of opportunity to have a good time with music, dance, "Platt" demonstrations, and - of course - good food. For more information and a detailed program click here (PDF).
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The National Jukebox
According to Prof. James Leary of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, dialect recordings associated with German Americans (or the "Dutch" as the English of the 18th and 19th centuries referred to anyone from a wide range of Germanic regions) entertained and appealed to both German-American audiences and mainstream Americans.
Take some time to listen to comic songs, skits, and recitations such as "The Germans' Arrival," "Hans Krausmeyer and His Dog Schneider," "Krausmeyer's Wedding Party," "Louisa Schmidt," "Fritz and Louisa," "The Happy German Twins," and "It Takes the Irish to Beat the Dutch." Some of these recordings may also be found and listened to by searching for "German dialect" or "Dutch dialect" on the Cylinder Project site at University of California-Santa Barbara
You may also wish to read Prof. Leary's paper, "Dialect Songs among the Dutch" [PDF] and listen to audio samples associated with the work
And to examine German-American ethnic stereotypes through cartoon images found on popular postcards in the 20th century, see:
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I always find it interesting what German papers report on German history and traditions in America. Over the summer germany.info, the official Web site of the German Missions in the United States, did a series on German heritage in Wisconisin. Read what they have to say about "Bierbrauer vs. Piraten," "Appleton's Ancestral Ties to Germany," and "30 Years of Milwaukee's Original Haus Party."