Archive Project: Taking Students Out of the Classroom and Into History

Note: You can view the projects at

Over the past year, I have constructed various projects for my literature survey courses. Last fall, I had students define a term related to Early American literature and present what they learned. In the spring, I had students read a novel or play by an author we were looking at in the course and present information about the book to the class. This summer, I had students find archival materials in the Auburn University Archives and Special Collections. Students had to find four to five items, transcribe the items (or describe them if typed or pictures), provide questions about the items, and most importantly provide a narrative discussing how the items relate to one or more texts we were reading during the semester. (For the original assignment, look at my post “Working With Archives in the Literature Classroom.”) Today, I want to share how that project went, what students found, and alterations I plan to make for this upcoming fall.

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Charlottesville: What do I do in the classroom?

At the end of Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow (1946), Stephen Fox thinks about his son Etienne. The Civil War has just ended, and Stephen ponders what the racism and hate that Etienne carries within himself will bring for the future. Etienne’s feelings and ideas will lead to more bloodshed, more dead bodies, and a stunted progress towards equality. The events in Charlottesville, VA, under the watchful eyes of Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, bring Stephen’s fears to life.

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The “Double V Campaign” in “Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers”

Recently, I've been writing about Christopher Priest's Black Panther, specifically about Priest's use of Everett K. Ross, "Emperor of Useless White Boys," as the narrative voice of the book. Today, I want to look at some of Reginald Hudlin's work as head of Black Panther. I have read a couple of issues of Hudlin's run, but I do not want to focus on those issues here because I have not read enough to comment thoughtfully. Instead, I want to focus on the four issue series Captain America/Black Panther: Flags of Our Fathers (2010).

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