MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 19-20, 2012: NEASA Colloquium Highlights, Part Six

[On Saturday, May 12th, I had the honor to run the second annual New England ASA Spring Colloquium. We met in Salem, first at The House of the Seven Gables and then out and about in the historic district, and talked about historic sites, public history and memory, place and identity, and much more. In this week’s series I’ll be briefly highlighting each of our six featured speakers and a bit on his or her interesting and inspiring talk and ideas. Your feedback and ideas are welcome too!]
Our sixth speaker, Ginger Myhaver, transitioned us into the Colloquium’s afternoon—and can similarly help me transition into a question for you all!
Ginger’s talk, in which she presented some of her responses to and ideas about the Salem Maritime National Historic Site’s Derby Wharf project, nicely culminated the morning’s conversations and focal points, but also helped us move into our afternoon walk-and-talk, which focused on a great conversation with the NHS’s Park Historian Emily Murphy about the site, the wharf, and the complex questions of representing and interpreting our shared past. Those questions and challenges make it particularly important for all interested American Studiers to respond to sites like Salem Maritime, and we certainly did so on Saturday.
Which leads me to a question for you, American Studiers: what’s an example of a historic site, a public site, a cultural site, an institution or museum, or the like, that does it right, that engages with our shared histories or stories or narratives or ideas in ways that work for you? And/or, what’s an example of one that comes up short in any of those ways? Let’s keep these conversations going here, if you’d be so kind!
Thanks, next series this coming week,
Ben
PS. You know what to do!
5/19 Memory day nominees: A tie between two interconnected, complex, and inspiring Civil Rights leaders, writers, and revolutionaries, Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama              
5/20 Memory Day nominee: Dolley Madison, for her courageous symbolic acts during the War of 1812 (a moment from the trajectory of the US could have gone very differently to be sure) and her generally impressive contributions to our poltical and social culture.

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