It's College Football Bowl Season folks. Whether you support a team (go Northwestern go) or reject it entirely, football's history goes far beyond the realm of sport. Radiolab (a podcast from WNYC) recently re-aired an episode, "Ghosts of Football Past," that unpacks football's complicated origins as it relates to race and masculinity. The piece features the history of the Carlisle Indian School's football program drawing on the work of Sally Jenkins' work The Real All-Americans.
Take the time to listen to the podcast and explore the photos on their website. This is a great topic to bring into the classroom!
I really hoped to find some brilliant connections between the Progressive Era reformers and the Star Wars films, but it was a bit of a stretch. So I decided to share the Crash Course videos by John Green instead. In institute's past we've discussed the strengths and weaknesses of these summaries. What do you think?
Here at Rethinking GAPE we embrace the complicated and sometimes contradictory legacy of "the Progressives." After all how could we devote a month to their study if there weren't so many layers of history to discover? In this process, we tease out new understandings and challenge our old assumptions.
Virginia Postrel of Bloomberg Views recently reviewed (found here) Thomas Leonard's upcoming Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era (Book Website). Postrel and Leonard raise some interesting points about the darker underbelly of some Progressive reformers. Is this a fair critique? What is your view? Who are the Progressives?
The themes of our institute are not locked in the past and still play out daily in the press. Politicians have long evoked nativist and xenophobic passions to rally support. We see these ideas in presidential candidate, Donald Trump's rhetoric towards immigrants in general, and Muslims in particular. This Washington Post piece draws comparisons between current politics and the 19th century tide of anti-Chinese sentiment that ushered in the Chinese Exclusion Act. This act allows us not only to explore the mistreatment of a particular group, but also speaks to the values our nation embraced as it sought to define itself.
This Harper's Weekly cartoon is a great source to explore anti-Chinese views of the day.
Here's the National Archives link link to the official act.
The Stanford History Education Group developed a longer DBQ lesson on this topic. Check it out here!
Curbed Chicago gives us another mapped list of Chicago's Gilded Age Mansions, this time the ones are still with us! Check it out here.
Click here to see a map and read about Chicago's Gilded Age Mansions that are no more...
Thankfully some Gilded Age historic residences still exist and we will be visiting one during the institute. The Glessner House, designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson, provides a fascinating look at life for the wealthy Glessner family during the Gilded Age.
The New York Times ran a piece HERE on Jack Johnson. During the Institute we watch clips from Ken Burn's Unforgivable Blackness and dive into his legacy as it relates to racial identity during the period.
If you don't know Jack, please read this article and learn more about this fascinating figure in US History who is still very relevant today.