[On August 15th, this AmericanStudier celebrates his 44th birthday. So as I do each year, here’s a series sharing some of my favorite posts from each year on the blog, leading up to a new post with 44 favorites from the last year. And as ever, you couldn’t give me a better present than to say hi and tell me a bit about what brings you to the blog, what you’ve found or enjoyed here, your own AmericanStudies thoughts, or anything else!]
Here they are,
41 favorite posts from the 2017-2018 year on the blog:
Virginians: Arthur Ashe: I enjoyed researching all the posts in last year’s
post-Cville series, but this one on three influences on the legendary athlete
stands out for me.
Working on this document with my colleague and friend Matthew Teutsch was a
highlight of the last year—it’s still evolving, so check it out and contribute,
Posts: Protesting the Pledge: Both of my sons have continued their acts of
civil disobedience, and to say that they are now more salient than ever is to
understate the case.
Worst and Best of Allegiance: Salient enough, even, that I’m highlighting a
second post from that same series!
Legends of the Fall: Some of the best crowd-sourced posts are those that
feature multiple topics and threads, as this great one on both autumn and falls
from innocence reflects.
Civil Rights Histories: The Little Rock Nine: Better remembering American
heroes like the Little Rock Nine is more crucial than ever, and here I
highlighted three complementary ways we can do just that.
Standing Bear: Not the last time the wonderful TV show will appear on this
Performers in Popular Culture: Two of these folks I knew virtually nothing
about before researching this post—and the third is Graham Greene!
Post: Nancy Caronia on Italian Americans and Columbus Day: A complex and
crucial topic, handled with thoughtfulness and passion by a colleague and
friend—describes all of my great Guest Posts, and doubly so this one!
Histories: The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball: A new young adult novel
that can add importantly to our collective memories of the Chinese Exclusion
Years of Scholarly Blogging: Matthew Teutsch: Connecting to fellow public
scholars has been one of the very best parts of this blog for me, so I’m gonna
highlight all of the posts in this week’s series to try to return that favor!
Days: The Harrisburg Veterans Parade: One of those stunning moments that
embodies both the worst and best of America, the exclusionary yet inclusive
sides on which I’m focusing in my new book project.
LeBron, and Sports in the Age of Trump: Another one of those posts that has
become only (if frustratingly) more relevant since I wrote it.
AlbumStudying: Thriller and Dualities: Any time you have the chance to
write, and then to highlight, a post on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, you do so!
Figures: The Fisk Jubilee Singers: Some of my favorite posts here have
allowed me to learn a great deal more about topics for which my knowledge was
shamefully lacking. This is a very good example of that phenomenon!
Lessons: Walt and Cady: Back to Longmire one more time, for a
(SPOILERiffic) examination of where we leave some of the show’s wonderful
Resistance: Fitchburg State University: For a series on the year in
#Resist, it was fun to think about some of the many ways my campus is doing its
Rights Histories: The Society for Human Rights (1924): Speaking of
shamefully lacking knowledge, I knew exactly nothing about this pioneering
activist organization before researching this post and series.
Rights Histories: Fitchburg State’s Exhibition: Much closer to now and to
home, it was fun to think about why this FSU exhibit impressed me as much as it
Boy Scouts: Michael Jordan and Hank Aaron: Did you know that these two
legendary but contrasting athletes were both Boy Scouts?
to Love Mariah Carey: My annual Valentine’s series concluded with my
newfound and deep admiration for the musical icon.
The Geary Act: We really, really really, need to better remember the
horrific excesses of the Chinese Exclusion Act era.
Massacre Studying: My Sons’ Thoughts: You didn’t think I’d miss a chance to
share this Guest Post of sorts featuring my sons’ takes on the Boston Massacre,
Panther Studying: Erik Killmonger: I haven’t stopped thinking about Michael
B. Jordan’s Black Panther character
since I saw the film.
American Novel Studying: Recent Contenders: There’s no such thing as The
Great American Novel—but it makes for a fun debate, and an even funner way to
highlight deserving books like this handful of recent classics.
Recaps: Back to the Board: I’m so glad to have returned to the Northeast
MLA Board that I have to share this post on my reasons for doing so one more
Squeaky Fromme: Why a seemingly silly potential assassin was anything but.
Tribute: Erik Loomis: A series on the Haymarket Affair concluded with a
tribute to one of our best labor historians and public scholars.
& Leonard Studying: Redefining Lynching: As of this writing the
wonderful SundanceTV show Hap &
Leonard has been cancelled—but no matter what we have three amazing seasons
to return to, highlighted by season two as I detail in this post.
Histories: Medal of Honor Medics: The chance to highlight a few of the
amazing Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients made for a great end to this
pre-Memorial Day series.
The Last Jedi: The latest in a series of posts through which I critique
Yoda, praise Luke, and rethink the American mythos that is Star Wars.
Contexts: McCarthy’s Lies and Rise: Joe McCarthy rose to destructive power
by lying all the time, and nearly destroyed the country with his continued
falsehoods. Seems worth remembering.
Supreme Court and Progress: Loving v. Virginia: Loving Day is one of my
favorite American moments, and has so much to teach us about both our past and
Class Readings: “Of the Passing of the First-Born”: This chapter from Du
Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk is one
of the toughest and most important American texts I know.
Race: Seven Seconds: If you haven’t yet seen this Netflix original show, I
highly recommend it, for all these reasons and more.
Chappaquiddick: Posts that challenge my own ideologies and perspectives are
ones I always try to highlight in these series, and this one did just that.
Century Histories: Jamestown’s First Slaves: But so too are posts that help
us unearth American histories and stories we all need to better remember, which
remains my #1 priority in this blog and one I can’t wait to continue in the
year to come!
best post tomorrow,
PS. You know
what to do!