Saturday, May 2, 2020
May 2-3, 2020: April 2020 Recap
[A Recap of the month that was in AmericanStudying.]
March 30: 80s Comedies: Airplane: An April Fool’s series kicks off with what makes a successful comic parody, and what makes a truly great one.
March 31: 80s Comedies: Ghostbusters: The series continues with two distinct ways to analyze science and the supernatural in the classic horror comedy.
April 1: 80s Comedies: Back to the Future: What the time-traveling comedy gets wrong and what it gets right, as the series laughs on.
April 2: 80s Comedies: Home Alone: The interesting and very American layers beneath the silly surface of the mega-hit Christmas comedy.
April 3: 80s Comedies: Working Girl: The series concludes with one inspiring and two more frustrating female characters in a socially thoughtful dramedy.
April 4-5: Dolemite is … the Subject of This Post: A special post on two ways a wonderful recent comic film thoughtfully engages cultural history, and one way it falls a bit short.
April 6: Poets We Should All Read: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: A National Poetry Month series kicks off with three of Harper’s many compelling and vital poems.
April 7: Poets We Should All Read: Martín Espada: The series continues with a few complementary ways the Puerto Rican poet portrays his heritage.
April 8: Poets We Should All Read: Joy Harjo: The significance of a Native American Poet Laureate and why Harjo goes way beyond it, as the series reads on.
April 9: Poets We Should All Read: Li-Young Lee: The power of a single perfect poem and the need to go beyond it nonetheless.
April 10: Poets We Should All Read: Robin Jewel Smith’s Suggestions: The series concludes with a mini-Guest Post, as one of our most talented young poets nominates other current poets we should all read.
April 11-12: Crowd-Sourced Poets We Should All Read: But wait, there’s more—including more nominees of mine and a ton from fellow PoetStudiers—add yours in comments, please!
April 13: Arab American Stories: Estevanico: A National Arab American Heritage Month series kicks off with the enslaved explorer who helps revise our understanding of early American histories.
April 14: Arab American Stories: Yarrow Mamout: The series continues with the Early Republic figure who became an iconic image of the new nation.
April 15: Arab American Stories: Omar ibn Said: How an inspiring figure and text have finally started to enter our collective memories and why there’s still more to do, as the series rolls on.
April 16: Arab American Stories: Muhammad Ali “Nicholas” Said: How a striking American life and book help us engage with a few key historical questions.
April 17: Arab American Stories: Abdallah Ingram: The series concludes with the inspiring individual who exemplifies the contributions of Arab American communities to our nation and world.
April 18-19: 21st Century Arab American Writers: A special weekend post highlighting a handful of the many talented and influential Arab American writers and works in our current moment.
April 20: Patriots’ Day and Critical Patriotism: My annual Patriots’ Day post, on the only time and way we can be genuinely patriotic.
April 21: Models of Critical Patriotism: “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”: A critical patriotism series kicks off with the stunning speech that challenges us as much today as it did 165 years ago.
April 22: Models of Critical Patriotism: “Eulogy on King Philip”: The series continues with one speech that offers two complementary modes of critical patriotism.
April 23: Models of Critical Patriotism: Suffrage Activists at the Centennial Exposition: National divisions and critical patriotism at America’s 100th birthday celebration, as the series rolls on.
April 24: Models of Critical Patriotism: America is in the Heart: The series concludes with an author and book that both introduce under-narrated histories and redefine American identity.
April 25-May 1: Update on Of Thee I Sing!: A special week-long update on the status of and a few takeaways from my next book, on competing visions of American patriotism.
Next series starts Monday,
PS. Topics you’d like to see covered in this space? Guest Posts you’d like to contribute? Lemme know!