Saturday, February 29, 2020
February 29-March 1, 2020: February 2020 Recap
[A Recap of the month that was in AmericanStudying.]
February 3: Immigration Laws: 19th Century Origins: Inspired by the anniversary of the 1917 Immigration Act, an immigration laws series kicks off with why 19th century state laws have to be part of the story.
February 4: Immigration Laws: The Chinese Exclusion Act: The series continues with how my thoughts about a foundational, exclusionary law have evolved over time.
February 5: Immigration Laws: The Immigration Act of 1917: On the anniversary of its passage, how the 1917 law built on the Chinese exclusion era, and how it went much further still.
February 6: Immigration Laws: The Tydings-McDuffie Act: The specific contexts and broader implications of a xenophobic 1930s law, as the series rolls on.
February 7: Immigration Laws: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965: Why the landmark law was indeed groundbreaking, and two ways to complicate that narrative.
February 8-9: Immigration Laws and Narratives in 2020: The series concludes with two distinct but ultimately interconnected public scholarly lessons for the present.
February 10: Fantasy Stories I Love: Revisiting Lloyd Alexander: This year’s Valentine’s Day series kicks off with the joys of watching my older son read a childhood favorite series of mine.
February 11: Fantasy Stories I Love: Tolkien Takeaways: The series continues with three AmericanStudies lessons from the LOTR trilogy.
February 12: Fantasy Stories I Love: Iron Crown Enterprises: The rise, fall, and enduring legacy of an innovative gaming company, as the series rolls (the dice) on.
February 13: Fantasy Stories I Love: Robin Hobb: The prolific author who helped changed epic fantasy’s too-often trite narratives of gender and sexuality.
February 14: Fantasy Stories I Love: George R.R. Martin: Why the book that took Martin’s blockbuster series off the rails also exemplifies his groundbreaking achievements.
February 15-16: Fantasy Stories I Love: African Fantasy: The series concludes with my first experiences with a contemporary genre community, and my need to read a lot more.
February 17: Non-Favorite Studying: To Kill a Mockingbird: The annual post-Valentine’s airing of grievances kicks off with what Harper Lee’s famous novel fails to do, and how reframing it might open up other conversations.
February 18: Non-Favorite Studying: Citizen Kane: The series continues with two very American problems with one of our most important films.
February 19: Non-Favorite Studying: Mad Men: The historical and American flaws in the acclaimed TV drama, as the series gripes on.
February 20: Non-Favorite Studying: “Africa” and Graceland: Perhaps my most controversial non-favorite post ever, on how overt and more subtle acts of musical cultural appropriation.
February 21: Non-Favorite Studying: Low Five: The series concludes with five historical figures with whom I have a bone—or a whole skeleton—to pick.
February 22-23: Crowd-sourced Non-Favorites: As always, one of my favorite posts of the year, the crowd-sourced airing of grievances that concludes the non-favorites series—add yours in comments!
February 24: Leap Years: 1816: A Leap Week (yes, I just made that a thing) series kicks off with significant global, cross-cultural, and national trends in a single Leap Year.
February 25: Leap Years: 1848: The series continues with how three distinct events within a ten-day period helped change America and the world.
February 26: Leap Years: 1904: Five of the many cultural legacies of the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, as the series leaps on.
February 27: Leap Years: 1948: A couple significant contexts for a contested election beyond “Dewey Defeats Truman.”
February 28: Leap Years: 1984: The series concludes with how three of the year’s huge blockbuster films reflected 1980s debates and divisions.
Next series starts Monday,
PS. Topics you’d like to see covered in this space? Guest Posts you’d like to contribute? Lemme know!