One Interesting American Thing per Day

Ben Railton

Ben Railton
Needham, Massachusetts, US
August 15
Associate Professor
Fitchburg State University
One interesting American thing per day, from a professor of American literature, culture, history, and Studies. Check out for more!

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JANUARY 1, 2012 7:18AM

January 1, 2012: What’s Next

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As the new year dawns, I ask for your input, both here and in an exciting new spot in development.

I don’t have any plans to stop blogging in the new year, and if anything I hope to continue to expand the range of subjects, themes, texts, media, week-long series, and, most importantly, voices that I include here. So I reiterate my frequent and always heartfelt request for responses in comments or by email ( , for suggestions for posts or focal points or other things the blog can be or do, for guest posts (whether at the idea stage or in the form of a fully written post), for whatever you’ve got and want to share.

I do, however, have plans to expand and broaden and deepen what AmericanStudies can be, offer, and mean. I have been working with Graham Beckwith, an AmericanStudies graduate student at Cal State Fullerton and a web designer of considerable talents and vision, to create a full AmericanStudies website at , a space that I hope will become an online home for students, scholars, researchers, and all those interested in American culture, identity, history, and Studies. The site will certainly host this blog, but that’s the tip of the iceberg: I have plans for multimedia and archival sections, for collections of links and resources, for a forum for any and all AmericanStudies conversations, for a calendar of Memory Day nominees and possibilities, and for much more.

Those are merely some of the many possibilities for what can become, though, and so once again I turn to you. What would you like to see on an AmericanStudies website? What will be useful, interesting, important, helpful? What haven’t you seen that you’d like to see? What would help with your studies, your researches, your own scholarship, your interests? What sites have modeled digital scholarship or public scholarship or the public humanities for you? This website will be yours as much as mine, and I’d love to get you in on the ground level as Graham and I continue to develop it from here.

More tomorrow,


PS. You know what to do!                        

1/1 Memory Day nominee: Alfred Stieglitz, one of America’s most innovative and significant photographers and a deeply humanistic and powerful chronicler of America’s late 19th and early 20th century communities, identities, experiences, and transformations.

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