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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MARCH 9, 2012 7:50PM

March 10-18. 2012: Spring Break Question

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This American Studier will be on a spring break vacation for the next week. For the relevant Memory Day nominees, please check out the Memory Day Calendar, where each nominee will have the usual brief introduction. New blog posts will resume on Monday March 19th.

But while you’re here, I have a question: if you had the chance to share one American thing—a text, a film, a song, a work of art, a building, a person, an event, an issue, an idea, an object, a symbol, an image, you name it (literally)—with other interested American Studiers, what would you share? And why?

Please feel very free and encouraged to share your answers here in comments. I’ll most definitely learn from them, and will also try to work them into future blog subjects, posts, series, and so on.

Have at it! And see you in a week,


PS. You know what to do!

3/10 to 3/18 Memory Day nominees: Are available at the Calendar!

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August 1st is the birthday of Herman Melville, who unquestionably belongs on your calendar. "Moby-Dick" alone merits his inclusion (and I won't make that argument since it's been done better by others); but I admire Melville because after M-D he continued writing for another 35 years — to diminishing fame and steady financial failure, but always experimenting, trying new forms, wrestling his existential demons, always in pursuit of "that ungraspable phantom of life."
Hi Brunhilde,

Thanks! You definitely don't have to convince me of the greatness of Melville, and I agree about the post-M-D writing for sure. I'll add him to the Calendar! Thanks,

Encouraging post content with interesting ideas laid out. Great job.