I’ve always been fascinated by those birthday cards that offer a little personalized nostalgia for yesteryear to our elderly loved ones who are able to tell us stories about “back in the day when…” I’m talking specifically about the cards that you typically see in gas stations and Cracker Barrels, the ones that try to give a societal snapshot from the day someone was born. They remind my father (born in 1942), for example, that the hit single on the day of his birth was Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” (it had recently overtaken “[I’ve Got a Gal in] Kalamazoo”) and that gas back then cost only 19 cents a gallon. For that matter, the 19-cent gas would have fueled a new car that someone could buy for just over a thousand bucks. And so on. Continue reading “The Way We Were…?”
Okay, full disclosure: I had every intention of posting this short note two days ago on June 11 to make sure it went online on the same day as the anniversary it describes. But, maybe it’s fitting that the scheduling was a little off-kilter… Because what’s in a day, anyhow? Continue reading “Remember the Ala-what-now?”
Merinda Simmons’s co-edited book, based on a 2009 conference held on the campus of the University of Alabama (of which she was an organizer) that was devoted to the roles of race in such things as displacement, forced migrations, nation and nationhood, and the way continuous movements of people challenge fixed racial definitions, is soon to be published by the University of Alabama Press.
Merinda Simmons‘s first monograph, Changing the Subject: Writing Women across the African Diaspora, has just been contracted by Ohio State University Press. A critique of the scholarly emphasis on authenticity in literary and postcolonial theory, it offers a counterpoint with readings of several African diasporic texts that demonstrate the contingent and contextual frameworks within which categories like “identity” and “voice” are thought to emerge, demonstrating that, instead of being stable, subjects and subjectivities change as they move from place to place.
During its working session in Chicago, in November 2012, the members of Culture on the Edge (pictured below) took some time to record a conversation on identity creation and its study, for The Religious Studies Project (RSP)–a series of podcasts created and maintained by UK grad students that is devoted to the work of scholars of religion from around the world.
Click here to listen to our conversation.
Apart from thanking RSP’s Christopher Cotter and David Robertson for their interest in our work, we would like to thank Andie Alexander, then a student in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama, for assisting with the technology, and also thank the Department for supporting the group.)