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Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 15-16, 2014: Crowd-sourced Love

[Last year, I wrote a Valentine’s Day-inspired series on some of my AmericanStudier loves. I had fun, so I decided to do so again this year. This crowd-sourced post is drawn from the loves shared by fellow AmericanStudiers—please share more of your loves in comments!]

Following up Monday’s Wire post, a commenter writes, “I couldn't resist the offer to mention a television show that I love. BBC's Sherlock is witty fun and brilliantly written. The co-creator Steven Moffat is a veteran of the latest Dr. Who iteration which most of my students love, and I admit I love it too! The show is a nod to the original 19th century stories with an interesting and fresh 21st century feel. It's wonderfully Anglo-centric and best of all Benedict Cumberpatch is yet another Sherlock that most fans would line the streets to kiss!”
On the same post, Joe Bastian writes, “Much like every other fan, I've always loved Omar's cowboy-esque attitude. In addition, though, Bodie's arc has ultimately been my favorite. His character's growth is brilliant, every internal strength advances him down a path that could only seem to induce harm.”
Following up Wednesday’s Bruce post, Roland Gibson writes, “I'm a big Bruce Springsteen fan, myself. However, I think my all-time greatest musical performer award for me would have to go to Michael Jackson. Even as a child—back when he was singing lead with his family in The Jackson 5—he showed so much raw musical talent and energy.  I don't own a copy of his album Thriller (my CD collection is quite modest) but it was the biggest selling album of all time, if I'm not mistaken.  I don't want to come across as trying to take anything away from what Bruce Springsteen has done—any more than my love for apples takes away from my feelings about oranges. Maybe—when I finally grow up—I'll be able to take credit for writing a song that could compare to something—anything—by Bruce Springsteen. I doubt it, but it's fun to think about.”
Susan Stark loves, “My Girl Maya: I find it rare that a poet can be so specific- to time and place, to race and culture and gender- yet so universal in their thoughts. Maya Angelou does that better than almost any poet I know. She is economic with words, but grand with the scope of her ideas. Her writing is soothing to the soul and inspiring to the spirit!”
Jeff Renye loves Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, and specifically this moment: “It was Miss Lonelyhearts’ turn to laugh. He put his face close to Shrike’s and laughed as hard as he could.”
On Twitter, the staff of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum note that they “particularly enjoy Vinegar Valentines from the late 19th century when it comes to Valentine's Day!”
Finally, Robert Greene II shares a few AmericanStudies loves:
Robin D.G. Kelley--who I consider to be an excellent historian and practitioner of American Studies, as a field that takes the best of the humanities to explain what it means (and, especially for Kelley, what it can mean) to be an American.

Pauli Murray--An underrated champion of civil and human rights in the middle of the 20th century, who was heavily involved in the Civil Rights and women's rights movements.
 
Harold Cruse--an important figure for both the Civil Rights and Black Power eras, his writings on African American intellectuals are required reading for anyone studying the 1960s, 1970s, or even the 1980s.”

Next series starts Monday,
Ben
PS. I’ll ask one more time—what do you love about or in American history, culture, identity, community?

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