There have been a number of great pieces on the history of sport star activism in the wake of NFL player protests. I recognize that this is a very charged topic and I'm not here to tell you what to think. I do, however, think historical context can always help us understand our world. These… Continue reading NFL Kneeling in Historical Context
This semester I’m teaching an upper division class in Modern Chinese History, “Chairman Mao’s China.” The title is of course somewhat reductive, but it gives me a chance on the first day to talk about what I hope the class will do. We are not going through Mao Zedong’s biography nor do we ascribe all… Continue reading What’s in a word? Minzu and the Chinese Nation
In the most recent Centre Trail podcast episode, I talk a little about my decision to use 80 Days, a video game based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, as a reading (or “reading”, if you prefer) for my world history survey course. Specifically, I talked about how I used the game… Continue reading 80 Days and Breathing Room in the Classroom
John and Tara got together before Fall Break and all the wild times that entails (eh…. grading, actually) to talk about Columbus Day and Northern Ireland’s Marching Season. What kind of factors motivate people to commemorate certain events or people, and why do we choose to use public space to do it?
If your facebook feed is anything like mine, you are seeing a number of memes about Columbus Day. This is one of the more popular: And also: Both of which make me laugh and make good points about the age of European exploration. There are a host of other memes about the holiday from the… Continue reading Why Columbus Day, Anyway?
John and Tara get together to talk about author Colson Whitehead’s visit to Centre's campus this past week and why his award-winning novel The Underground Railroad is so interesting as a contribution to wider historical discussion, our preparation for the semester to come, and some historical context for discussion of the Second Amendment to the… Continue reading Centre Trail Podcast 6: Colson Whitehead visits campus, the spring beckons
This past Monday Centre College hosted a Pulitzer Prize winner: Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad, for which he received this year’s prize for fiction, as well as the National Book Award. We invited Colson as the college had adopted the book as our choice for the first year common reading experience, a practice… Continue reading The Underground Railroad and Using History in Fiction