Teaching the Zeitgeist through Bernie Sanders

  Super Tuesday’s results are in, making Bernie Sanders a leading candidate to battle Donald Trump for the White House. The fact that this previously “unelectable” Democratic socialist, along with his platform of universal healthcare, has moved into the mainstream should enlighten historians about how seemingly static cultural abstractions such as the zeitgeist actually change…

Finding Common Ground: Teaching Politics in 2020

In my first Teaching US History post, I spoke about the concept of teaching students to “see both”–to realize that both the good and bad are tangled up in almost every topic in history or current event we study. I wrote:  Seeing both starts with us as educators. Regardless of our own political and historical…

Fears of Change and a More Equitable Society

Last October, Jennine Capó Crucet gave a talk at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA. The university chose her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers (2015) as the campus-wide first year experience book. Crucet’s novel chronicles a Cuban American woman’s experiences at an elite college as a first-gen student and daughter of Cuban immigrants. After…

Incorporating Digital Projects

As a warm-up the first day of my youth cultures class, I asked my students to write down the characteristics, habits, and spaces that they thought of when I said “youth” and “youth cultures.”  While I expected them to write down social media and the internet, I did not expect these words to fall into…

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…