MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Friday, January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018: Spring Semester Previews: Talking Exclusion & Inclusion



[As another semester begins, so too does my annual Spring previews series, this time focused on individual texts I’ll be teaching in spring courses. I’d love to hear what your spring looks like and holds!]
On my next book talk, my broader goals, and how I’d love your help.
It was nearly a year ago that I had the chance to give my first talk on my next book (still in progress), Exclusion & Inclusion: The Battle to Define America; since then I’ve given additional versions of the talk at other local spaces, as well as highlighting different pieces of it as part of adult learning courses and in public scholarly writings such as this one on Yung Wing. But this February, on Valentine’s Day no less, I have the chance to deliver a new book talk at a very exciting setting: I’ll be giving a Fitchburg State University Harrod Lecture, which is a biannual university-wide series devoted to highlighting the great work being done by our FSU faculty. I had the chance to give a Harrod Lecture back in October 2008, on the topic that would become my second book Redefining American Identity, and found the experience, the audience response and conversation, and the setting to be among the most inspiring I’ve encountered in all my years in academia. I’m honored and excited to be part of the Harrod series once more, and am sure that I’ll once more get a great deal of continued inspiration for the book in progress (and beyond) from the experience.
At the same time, though, my goal for Exclusion & Inclusion—and the reason I’m working with an agent, Cecelia Cancellaro of Word Literary Services—is that it be the most public of all my books and projects to date. And while the FSU Harrod Lectures are open to community members from beyond the campus, most of the folks in the audience will indeed be colleagues, students, and others from the academic setting of FSU. So as I finalize the book manuscript over the next couple months, and hopefully move toward securing a publisher and bringing this project into the world, I would love the opportunity to share it with more non-academic and public audiences as well. My year-plus of book talks for The Chinese Exclusion Act offered me a model for connecting to those kinds of settings and audiences, and of course I’ll be reaching out to those and similar institutions and spaces; but in truth, I believe that any individual’s perspective and connections are too limited to truly achieve the kinds of public engagement for which I’m hoping and working. To quote Bruce, “you got to have help.” So I would greatly appreciate any ideas you all might have about spaces, places, groups, or other opportunities to share a talk on “Exclusion & Inclusion: The Battle to Define America.”
Finally—and I hope it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway—I’d love the chance to reciporate, here or otherwise. So let me know about any upcoming talks, projects, work of yours, in comments or by email, and I’ll make sure to spread the word as well!
January Recap this weekend,
Ben
PS. Thoughts on this post? Spring previews of your own to share?

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