Saturday, August 3, 2019
August 3-4, 2019: July 2019 Recap
[A Recap of the month that was in AmericanStudying.]
July 1: 4th of July Contexts: Slavery and the Declaration: A July 4th series starts with important historical contexts for a frustrating founding text, and why the frustrations remain regardless.
July 2: 4th of July Contexts: The Adams Letters: The series continues with the myths and realities of the Revolution revealed in the letters between John and Abigail Adams.
July 3: 4th of July Contexts: Fireworks: The history, symbolism, and limitations of a July 4th tradition, as the series rolls on.
July 4: 4th of July Contexts: Born on the 4th of July: Three cultural evolutions of a classic, complex American phrase.
July 5: 4th of July Contexts: “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”: The stunning speech that challenges us as much today as it did 150 years ago.
July 6-7: The 4th of July in 2019: The series concludes with a frustratingly timely weekend post celebrating the 4th and America in the Age of Trump.
July 8: Alien America: Roswell: On the anniversary of the Roswell, well, whatever, a series on cultural images of aliens kicks off with Roswell conspiracy theories.
July 9: Alien America: E.T. and Aliens: The series continues with friendly and hostile extraterrestrials, and the real bad guys in any case.
July 10: Alien America: Brother from Another Planet: A quote we would do well to think about, and a film that could help us do just that, as the series rolls on.
July 11: Alien America: ID4: The blockbuster film that’s American in the worst, but perhaps also a bit of the best, senses.
July 12: Alien America: Close Encounters and Contact: The series concludes with two superficially similar films that feature very distinct portrayals of both aliens and America.
July 13-14: An Aliens and America Addendum: A quick weekend follow up post on the “Storm Area 51” Facebook Event.
July 15: Summer Camp Contexts: Camp Virginia: A summer camp studying series kicks off with the unique camp without which there’d likely be no AmericanStudier.
July 16: Summer Camp Contexts: Hello Muddah: The series continues with the very American afterlife of a classic camp song.
July 17: Summer Camp Contexts: Jewish Summer Camps: Ethnicity, community, and the preservation and revision of tradition, as the series camps on.
July 18: Summer Camp Contexts: Playing Indian: The camp tradition that embodies a troubling American trend, and what we can do about it.
July 19: Summer Camp Contexts: Friday the 13th: The series concludes with what camp has come to mean in American culture, and what to make of the change.
July 20-21: Jeff Renye’s Guest Post: “As Above, So Below”: The Desire to Believe and Forbidden Knowledge in The X-Files: The prior week’s aliens and America series concludes with my latest Guest Post, from the great Jeff Renye!
July 22: American Anthems: “America the Beautiful”: On the anniversary of its initial composition, an American anthems series kicks off with different forms of patriotism in “America the Beautiful.”
July 23: American Anthems: “The Star-Spangled Banner”: The series continues with how historical contexts and cultural predecessors add layers to our troubling national anthem.
July 24: American Anthems: “This Land is Your Land”: My folk music nominee for a new national anthem, as the series sings on.
July 25: American Anthems: “God Bless America”: The importance, and the limits, of contextualizing an iconic anthem.
July 26: American Anthems: “American Skin (41 Shots)”: Why my long-time favorite song is also a perfect anthem for the America I write about in my new book, We the People!
July 27-28: 21st Century American Anthems: The series concludes with five recent songs (and a bonus recent poem) I would nominate as 21st century anthems!
July 29: SiblingStudying: The Marx Brothers and the Stooges: In honor of my sister’s birthday, a siblings series kicks off with the two families who dominated American comedy in the mid-20th century.
July 30: SiblingStudying: The Grimké Sisters: The series continues with two Southern sisters who exemplify the courage and power of abolitionism.
July 31: SiblingStudying: The Wright Brothers: Three lesser-known stories of the brothers who changed the world, as the series flies on.
August 1: SiblingStudying: William and Henry James: The inspirational and (to this AmericanStudier) familiar relationship between two close brothers.
August 2: SiblingStudying: The Williams Sisters: The series concludes with how Claudia Rankine and Twitter have helped changed my perspective on the talented tennis duo.
Next series starts Monday,
PS. Topics you’d like to see covered in this space? Guest Posts you’d like to contribute? Lemme know!