AmericanStudies

One Interesting American Thing per Day

Ben Railton

Ben Railton
Location
Needham, Massachusetts, US
Birthday
August 15
Title
Associate Professor
Company
Fitchburg State University
Bio
One interesting American thing per day, from a professor of American literature, culture, history, and Studies. Check out http://www.americanstudier.org for more!

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APRIL 6, 2012 2:22PM

April 7-8, 2012: March 2012 Recap

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[A slightly belated recap of the month that was in American Studying.]

March 1: 1912: My series on interesting Leap Years continues with a unique presidential election, international adventures, and the origins of Hollywood.

March 2: 1936: The Leap Year series concludes with a year defined by the Depression but featuring plenty of interesting pop culture and international American Studies events as well.

March 3-4: Celebrating Shirley Sherrod:  A Women’s History Month series begins by celebrating a woman who should be remembered for exactly the opposite reasons the late Andrew Breitbart argued.

March 5: Celebrating Sophia Hayden: Celebrating a pioneering woman whose most public achievements were also the focus of the sexist critiques that drove her from the public sphere.

March 6: Celebrating Zitkala-Sa: Celebrating the Sioux orator and author who helped capture and yet thoroughly transcended some of her culture’s and our nation’s lowest points.

March 7: Celebrating Margaret Fuller: Celebrating one of America’s most impressive and talented writers, philosophers, and voices.

March 8: Celebrating Sui Sin Far: Celebrating one of the most genuinely and inspiringly transnational American writers and identities.

March 9: One Short Video, Two Impressive Women: Celebrating Sojourner Truth and Alfre Woodard, a compelling two for one to end the Women’s History series.

March 10-18: Spring Break Question: In which I left my readers with a spring break question about their American Studies interests and perspectives, one to which I’d still love to hear your answers!

March 19: Old Town State Historic Park: A series on sites of public memory in San Diego starts with the city’s most historic and cross-cultural space.

March 20: Cabrillo National Monument: Three sides to one of San Diego’s most rich and multi-layered historic sites.

March 21: Balboa Park: The inspiring origin points and evolution of this central San Diego space.

March 22: The U.S.S. Midway:  The two very distinct and equally significant public purposes of San Diego’s most unique museum and site.

March 23: The Safari Park: A few of the amazing creatures we met at this famous and powerful site, and what they can help us better understand, as the San Diego series concludes.

March 24-25: Race in Contemporary America: I start a series on this significant American Studies topic by asking for your ideas and suggestions—which I would still very much welcome and appreciate!

March 26: Race and Trayvon Martin: My two cents on one of our most contemporary and painful American events and questions.

March 27: Race and Danny Chen: On the tragic and inspiring sides to another recent and painful American story.

March 28: Race and The Hunger Games: What the racist responses to the recent film release can help us understand and analyze.

March 29: Racism in Contemporary America: A controversial episode from late last year helps me engage with the issues surrounding racism in the 21st century.

March 30: Race and Technology: A graphic shared by fellow American Studier Jen Rhee helps me analyze this very complex and important 2012 topic.

March 31-April 1: Race, President Obama, and Us: How American Studies can help us analyze this contested question with more sophistication and significance—and another request for your input, as the series and month ends!

More next week,

Ben

PS. Besides the specific questions asked by many of those posts, I’ll ask this one too: topics you’d like to see me engage with in this space?

4/7 Memory Day nominee: Marjory Stoneman Douglas, whose 20th century spanning life included activism in virtually every significant social movement, but whose environmental advocacy for Florida’s Everglades, exemplified by the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), led directly to the preservation of that amazing American space.

4/8 Memory Day nominee: Oscar Zeta Acosta, the Chicano writer, lawyer, and activist whose connections to Hunter Thompson and mysterious 1970s disappearance shouldn’t overshadow his unique, ground-breaking, and compelling works of autoethnographic fiction.

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