The “historical self” and the “self self”

In Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine uses the term “historical selves” in one of the vignettes in section one. There, the speaker, addressing the reader, talks about you and a friend. The friend argues that Americans battle between the “his- torical self” and the self self.” This battle causes tensions between you and the…

Resistance in Omar ibn Said’s Narrative

In every class, I choose to teach a few new texts that I have never read. Sometimes this will include one texts. Other times it will include more. For this semester, in my multicultural American literature course, I chose two new texts that I had never read before: Hala Alyan’s Salt Houses and Omar ibn…

Teach My Book: Alice Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America

Teaching United States History is excited to present Teach My Book, a series of posts where distinguished authors reflect on their work and how instructors might integrate their insights into the classroom. Our thoughts today come from Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor Emerita of American History and Professor Emerita in the Institute for Research…

Teaching Sex, Power, and Conquest with Primary Sources

Using primary sources in the classroom is a great way to show students how to make historical arguments based on evidence. In my colonial Latin American history course, I translated a Spanish-language eighteenth-century sodomy case for students to use throughout the semester. With the case in front of them, students noted how formal language could…