October 2021

Florian Deckers is reading Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman’s On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City (2009, University Press of Mississippi https://www.upress.state.ms.us/Books/O/On-the-Wall) which is one of the most complete collections of this short-lived art form in the metropolis. Thus, the authors provide an overview of the artworks and their makers from the beginning in the 1960s to the beginning of the 21st century. Braun-Reinitz and Weissman not only illuminate the role of those involved, their modes of operation, as well as the development process of this primarily politically influenced wall art. With their work, including an impressive collection of photographs of murals that has not been done in this form before, they also immensely contribute to the preservation of this ephemeral art.

Our Past Reading
Prof. Dr. Josef Raab passed away on November 10, 2019 after a long battle against terminal illness. / © L. Raab

Thank you,

to our colleague, advisor, and mentor Josef Raab, who sadly passed away last weekend after a long and brave battle against terminal illness. Josef Raab was the chair of American Literary and Media Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He paved the way for the discipline of Inter-American Studies, significantly shaping its core debates. As a champion and supporter of the Ruhr Center for American Studies, he was also a pivotal figure for the establishment of our City Scripts research group. Josef Raab was a fighter of the good fight, never shy of supporting his students and of positively endorsing as well as tackling his colleagues. He never eschewed an argument he believed in. While he had to take a step back from in-person participation in recent months due to his illness, he was with us in thought and during our research. We lose a professor and mentor, who has accompanied and supported some of us since our bachelor’s degree, a colleague, who challenged us in academic discussions, and most of all a sincere and warm human soul.

All that is left for us to say now is, thank you and safe travels.