My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24-25, 2012: Race in Contemporary America

In which I hope to start a conversation about one of our most challenging and significant American Studies questions.

For a number of reasons, many of which I’ll highlight as particular topics of posts in the coming week, I’ve decided to dedicate at least a week’s worth of posts to the topic of race in contemporary American culture, identity, community, politics, society, art, and life. I have, you will be not at all surprised to learn, lots of thoughts of my own, both on specific events (which will again form the starting point for many of the particular posts) and on contexts and connections, back into our American past and to other American issues and questions. I have, that is, no shortage of things I hope to consider in this series from my own American Studier’s perspective.

But while I obviously hope there’s value to my sharing of those things from my own perspective—certainly it helps me to develop them in the ways I do in this space, but I mean value for you readers too—it remains the case, as I have said many times and in many ways here, that I see this blog and site, just as I see American Studies and public scholarship, as at their best and most meaningful a deeply collaborative and communal endeavor. That doesn’t just mean getting responses to my own ideas, although I will always welcome those: in comments, by email (, in blog posts of your own, wherever and however you want to share them. But it also means hearing your own ideas and takes, fully and primarily.

So I’ll note, as I have before and will again, the variety of ways in which you can share your perspectives and ideas, in this case on this complex and huge topic of race in contemporary America. You can create a new thread in the Forum. You can email me an analytical piece on any related topic or question, which I’ll post in that section of the Resources page. Or you can suggest a topic for a blog post, one written either by me or (even better) by you in a Guest Post—I’ll take such suggestions in any of those aforementioned ways: comments on posts here, emails, Forum posts, you name it. I’m also on Twitter (@AmericanStudier) and on Facebook ( if you want to check in that way.

Again, I have a week’s series already more or less planned—but I’d love to make it a couple weeks because I have many takes of yours to help share as well. Let’s make it happen!

First in the series on Monday,


PS. You know what to do!

3/24 Memory Day nominee: John Wesley Powell, the Civil War veteran, college professor, and Western explorer whose contributions to our national awareness of and respect for our natural treasures and resources was second only to his profound respect for Native Americans and what they meant to American identity and life, a perspective which led him to push for the creation of a federal Bureau of Ethology.

3/25 Memory Day nominees: A tie between Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist and humanitarian whose work in Mexico, India, and around the world changed the possibilities of modern agriculture, sustainability, and human existence; and Flannery O’Connor, one of the 20th century’s most unique and talented authors of fiction, and a writer whose dark humor and cynicism were balanced by a deep and abiding humanity and faith.

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