Our discussion about cultural appropriation in class intrigued me. While the Harlem Shake started the conversation, we soon began considering other internet phenomena that went viral. Turning on the television before class, I saw a new “Gangnam Style” parody featuring Psy for pistachios. Psy was panned by many for his anti-America stance, yet here he was again, months […]Read more "This is Not a Meme"
Mischievous. Powerful. Confident. In control. These are just some of the words in phrases we used today in class to describe this dynamic 1936 photograph of Bessie Smith. About a week ago, a friend of mine sent me this fascinating article about female “trickster” archetypes in literature and pop culture that immediately came to mind […]Read more "Blues Women and Female Myth"
Harlem New York is a real place, full of real people. I know, this is not groundbreaking news at all (or at least, I hope it’s not.) But it seems as though the millions of people who have now watched approximately 2782 YEARS worth of Harlem Shake videos might have forgotten this.  Lets begin at […]Read more "What You’re Really Doing when you do “The Harlem Shake”"
Everyone has biases that are the result of our life experiences. For example, where we were raised – rural small town or large urban city – can skew our opinions of either location. Once we accept this reality and learn our own personal biases then perhaps we can be better able to see other points […]Read more "Combating Stereotypes Through Museum Programing"
Last week in class we discussed Maus I by Art Spiegelman. Not a single classmate, nor the professor, could remember when they officially learned about the Holocaust. Most of us explained that we just remember knowing about it. Well, just like knowing about the Holocaust, we also tend to just know about stereotypes. I don’t remember specific […]Read more "Vladek – the Stereotypical Jewish Person?"
Is Art Spiegelman’s Maus appropriate for children? How do you teach children about tough topics like the Holocaust? When is it appropriate to teach children about the parts of history, and the parts of the present, that are messy, ugly, and violent? What is appropriate? These were some of the questions that came up in […]Read more "Think of the Children! Tough Issues and Age Appropriateness"
When I was in about second or third grade I asked my dad what the Holocaust was. I do not remember where I first heard the word “Holocaust,” but it seemed important and serious. I had just started religious school and we were on our way home. I am not sure what exactly he told […]Read more "Holocaust Awareness"