My expectations going in to Mark Waid and J.G. Jones’ Strange Fruit were high. I expected to encounter, between the covers, a work that would explore “themes of racism, cultural legacy, and human nature.” Overall, I was a little underwhelmed, and I even questioned the purpose of the comic itself. If, as Waid and Jones argued, they wanted to present a text that examined issues of racism, I feel like they fall exceedingly short. In 2015, Waid stated that as “Southern natives who grew up during the Civil Rights wars … [Jones and I] both feel like we’ve got something personal to say about the racial clashes we saw and experienced first-hand as boys.” This statement does not seem too far-fetched or even negative; however, the execution of transforming this statement into a narrative that dives the depths of these issues leaves much to be desired.
As I get ready to head to the University of Bergen in August, I have started to think about ways to discuss issues of race in America’s history. Brianne Jaquette’s piece, “Fulbright Workshop: Black Lives Matter, Part One,” sparked these thoughts, and her discussions about how Europeans talk about race differently than we do here in America. This is important for me to consider, and I have been thinking about ways to highlight for students the ways that our constructions of race have impacted our history and even our present. In this post, I want to talk about some of the songs, documentaries, or small pieces that I plan to use to help with these discussions.
The other day, I read Derek Attig’s “Tips for Making the Most Out of Conferences” and it got me to thinking about what advice I would give to a humanities student or others on this topic. So, today, I want to briefly share some of the things I have learned over the last fifteen years about conferencing, and more importantly networking. This will by no means be a comprehensive post on every aspect of these issues; rather, it will be a brief exploration of things that have worked for me throughout my career.