SPRING 2018 COURSES

A BURNING IDEA:
CHALLENGING & CENSORING BOOKS

2:00 - 3:15 PM EST, MONDAY & WEDNESDAY

What makes a book “bad”? Examining a book's censorship dispute reveals cultural battlegrounds over topics like sex, race, religion, politics, language, and morality. Students will examine a censorship challenge in their locality—potential topics include challenges to school reading curriculum, efforts to ban or burn books, or the work of 19th- and 20th-century anti-vice societies. Using primary source materials, newspapers, secondary literature, and oral histories, students will tell the stories of these disputes through websites that add new dimensions to their interpretation, placing the censorship theme and the challenged work in local and historical contexts. More

Rebecca Dierking, Truman State University
Cathy Moran Hajo, Ramapo College of NJ

FASHION & IDENTITY
IN MODERN AMERICA

3:45 - 5:00 PM EST, MONDAY & WEDNESDAY

Fashion, dress, and style reveal a great deal about changing ideas of gender, race, class, sexuality, and region, and play powerful roles in shaping both individual and group identities. In this course, we will be reflecting on evolving ideas about fashion and style from 1950 up through the present, with a particular focus on the connections between fashion, popular culture, and identity. Students in the class will have the opportunity to analyze how fashion has evolved in popular TV programs from different eras, create an oral history project, and produce digital materials concerning Americans’ experiences with fashion and dress in recent history. More

Brenda Brown, University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma
Holly Kent, University of Illinois - Springfield

STORIED LANDSCAPES:
21ST-CENTURY NATURE WRITING

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM EST, TUESDAY & THURSDAY

What stories do our landscapes tell us? And how have those places themselves been transformed as a consequence of climate change, digital spaces, and biotechnology? How we experience the environment owes a lot to inherited narratives. Writing about reconfigured ecologies—all their terrors and beauties—helps us to inhabit storied landscapes. Students in this course will join the work of 21st-century nature writing, mapping out local places through archival research, fieldwork, and reflective writing. More

Ken Cooper, SUNY Geneseo
Joe Wiebe, University of Alberta, Augustana

VOICES OF MIGRATION:
AN ORAL HISTORY COLLECTIVE

1:30 - 2:45 PM EST, TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Why do people migrate? Where do they go? What risks and rewards do people face when they are on the move? What are the challenges and benefits for places of reception? How does migration transform individuals, families, and towns? What can we learn about the living history of migration by collecting oral histories? We'll form an oral history collective in which students record the migration stories of their campuses' communities, using their voices to document experiences and impacts of migration. More

Michelle Bettencourt, UNC Asheville
Olivia Donaldson, University of Maine at Farmington

FALL 2017 COURSES

CONFLICT IN AMERICA:
CASE STUDIES IN PEACE-MAKING

12:15 - 1:30 PM EDT, TUESDAY & THURSDAY

American society has often been beset by clashes between different beliefs and cultures. Contemporary America seems more divided than ever before—how do we move forward as a society plagued by these divisions? This course will explore the subject of conflict resolution in local, historical contexts. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of conflict resolution and historical examples of successful resolution, and they will identify and research a case study of conflict resolution from their own communities. More

Jessica Wallace, Georgia College
James Welch, University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma

CULTURAL CROSSROADS:
MIGRATION & COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION

4:00 - 5:15 PM EDT, TUESDAY & THURSDAY

Migration is a constant in human history and is laden with cultural implications. In virtually any locale the movement in of people has occurred, but these migrations are not always at the forefront of the historical memory of a place. In this course students will investigate migration into the community or communities surrounding their campus. This movement may have happened at any time in the community’s history. By bringing to life these stories the students’ Crossroads projects will rescue forgotten local history from obscurity. More

Alvis Dunn, UNC Asheville
Leland Turner, Midwestern State University

"INTO THE WOODS":
EXPERIMENTS IN COMMUNITY, SUSTAINABILITY, & THE EXAMINED LIFE

1:00 - 2:15 PM EDT, MONDAY & WEDNESDAY

As a society we search for alternatives to the hurried life, alternatives Henry David Thoreau famously described as living “deliberately.” This has given rise to communities that practice a sustainable way of life based on contemplation of nature and thoughtful reflection about life. Some of these communities, known as "intentional communities," put down roots in a physical location, but others form “communities of practice” that exchange similar ideas in a digital space. Students will study these communities in connection with their locale. More

Paul Schacht, SUNY Geneseo
Debra Schleef, University of Mary Washington

SPRING 2017 COURSES

DIVIDED HOUSES:
SECESSION & SEPARATION

1 - 2:15 PM EST, MONDAY & WEDNESDAY

What makes a community break apart? At many moments in American political and religious history, secessionists and separatists have threatened to break away from their communities. Students will identify a secessionist or separatist movement in their community and learn skills to help them design a website presenting and analyzing the history of that movement. Who were the members of the secessionist movements? Why was secession or separation seemingly the better solution for their concerns? More

Mary Beth Mathews, University of Mary Washington
Ken Owen, University of Illinois - Springfield

MAKING STRANGE: CONSTRUCTING IDENTITIES & MAKING SENSE OF OUR SURROUNDINGS
3:30 - 4:45 PM EST, WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY

This course aims to give students the time and tools to reflect upon the meaning of “strange.” How is strangeness constructed? How do we identify ourselves as being part of a particular culture and nation? What is familiar and what is alien to us and why? Students will venture out into their communities to find local examples of strangeness and familiarity in the form of images, places, legends and stories, sayings, and history and then see how the local fits in with larger narratives. More

Yvonne Franke, Midwestern State University
Janet Wesselius, University of Alberta, Augustana

THE SOCIAL LIFE OF BOOKS
12:30 - 1:45 PM EST, TUESDAY & THURSDAY

In this course we will learn to see books in new ways. Books often have “lives” of their own, and the stories of the books can be just as intriguing as the stories found within their pages. Students in this class will uncover the hidden lives of books—they will conduct research in their local archives and use books of their choosing to reconstruct the stories of the people who owned and used them. Students will then explore a variety of digital tools necessary to bring these stories from the shelves to a wider audience. More

Benjamin Bankhurst, Shepherd University
Benjamin Pauley, Eastern Connecticut State University