Category: history

“Untangling Whiteness: Reflection and Action”

In May, I had a conversation with a colleague about possible events to host at the Lillian E. Smith Center, especially during a pandemic with limited travel. He suggested a symposium focused on whiteness since Smith’s work explores both the construction and deconstruction of whiteness. We had this conversation after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. After the murder of Breonna Taylor. Before the murder … Read More “Untangling Whiteness: Reflection and Action”

“What if . . .?”: Questions About Education

The other day, Beth Loveland emailed me with her thoughts after she read Ashley McCall’s “What If We Radically Reimagined The New School Year?” As I read McCall’s article, I kept thinking about Lillian Smith and her comments to Mr. Hartley about education. McCall asks us, among a myriad of important questions, “What if we recognized that life—our day-to-day circumstances and our response to … Read More “What if . . .?”: Questions About Education


Structuring and Rectifying the Past in Jérémie Dres’ “We Won’t See Auschwitz”

This semester, I taught Jérémie Dres’ We Won’t See Auschwitz. I read Dres’ book last year in Norway, after I visited Warsaw, and it made me think about various things, mainly about the ways that we remember and construct the past. This is one of the recurring themes in the books that we are reading this semester, and it is one of the main … Read More Structuring and Rectifying the Past in Jérémie Dres’ “We Won’t See Auschwitz”


Kristen Radtke’s “Imagine Wanting Only This” and Reality

Last post, I wrote about memory in Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at a few more pages in Radtke’s book. Specifically, I want to look at the ways we remember the past, what gets privileged and what gets forgotten. These moments point to one of the themes of Radtke’s book, the ephemeral and fleeting … Read More Kristen Radtke’s “Imagine Wanting Only This” and Reality


Why does history matter?

Visiting one of the museums here in Bergen, I walked through the rooms of Edvard Munch’s work, stopping in front of Ungdom (Youth). Ungdom is a large portrait of a boy with a multicolored background behind him that looks, in many ways, like waves. As I started at the portrait, I walked closer and peered at the background near the boy’s right arm and … Read More Why does history matter?