Saturday, December 31, 2011
December 2010 Recap
December 1: The Prof, the Bluff, and the Union: Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War’s turning point.
December 2: A Touch of Class: What Thorstein Veblen forces all AmericanStudiers to remember and analyze.
December 3: Alien Nation: How the Alien and Sedition Acts complicate both of our over-simplified narratives about the Founding Fathers.
December 4: Remember It, Jake: Chinatown as an AmericanStudies primary source.
December 5: American Dreams: Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father as an AmericanStudies primary source.
December 6: I Know It When I See It: The case for Jacob Lawrence as our greatest American painter.
December 7: Speak Now: Frederick Douglass, Chief Seattle, and two powerful American Renaissance speeches.
December 8: Bonus Babies: The complex and crucial Depression-era history of the Bonus Army.
December 9: Statue Limitations: Two distinct and equally important revisions to our dominant images of the Statue of Liberty.
December 10: A Voice from the Nadir: Ida B. Wells and the lynching epidemic.
December 11: Giving the Devil His Due: Ambrose Bierce and the value of pessimism.
December 12: The Mother of All Stories: Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing” and the challenges and inspiring power of parenting in the most difficult circumstances.
December 13: The Definition of Insanity: Dorothea Dix’s pioneering and courageous work on behalf of the mentally ill.
December 14: Family Matters: The Cat in the Hat, The Opposite of Sex, You Can Count on Me, and changing 20th century images of family.
December 15: The Scorn of a Preacher Man: William Apess’ life and writing, and what a critical spiritual perspective can tell us about American history and identity.
December 16: Pointed Sister: The contemporary relevance of Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.
December 17: The Propaganda of History: The contemporary and political origins of Colonial Williamsburg.
December 18: Mixology: Edouard Glissant and the Caribbean world’s transnational connections to the United States.
December 19: What the Head Makes Cloudy: The West Wing, McCarthyism, and the difficult but important task of pushing past all of our simplifying historical narratives.
December 20: The Real King: A post on Martin Luther King that was accidentally but appropriately moved to January 17th!
December 21: What It’s Like: Rebecca Harding Davis’ Life in the Iron Mills and the crucial role of empathy in our literary and national conversations.
December 22: A Snowball’s Chance: Affliction, A Simple Plan, and the winter of our American Dreams.
December 23: The Pen and the Sword: Frederic Remington’s Cuban dispatches and the role of art in fomenting (and perhaps even causing) war.
December 24: A Human and Yet Holy Day: The role of religion in American history and narratives, and the inspiring Catholic life and work of Dorothy Day.
December 25: The Season for Misgivings: An AmericanStudier and literary critic’s take on three of our most popular but at their heart most troubling holiday tunes.
December 26: A Hard Story is Good to Find: Flannery O’Connor’s mastery of two different but equally effective types of short stories.
December 27: Is Our Children Learning?: Renaissance American John Dewey’s particularly impressive and inspiring work on behalf of early childhood and democratic education.
December 28: Early to Bed, Early to Rise, and Watch Out for Those Germans!: Why we should remember and engage with Ben Franklin’s anti-German xenophobia.
December 29: Re-viewing the Classics: Birth of a Nation, two cinematic responses to its racist depiction of American history and identity, and what it would mean to put them in conversation.
December 30: Divorced from Reality: Complicating some of our most widely shared and accepted narratives about divorce, marriage, and changes in American society.
December 31: Five for Five: On the occasion of my older son’s fifth birthday, five plans for 2011 on the blog [I’ll leave it up to you whether they’ve been successful!].