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Month: December 2018

Everything is Beautiful

Everything is Beautiful

I have completed all of my grading for the fall semester, made it through the stress and hustle of the holidays.  Some time to reflect, before the next semester begins in a couple of weeks.  The final essays written by students in my Western Humanities course inspired me. We can read so many laments about “kids these days,” so many ill-informed condemnations of “campus climate.”  God knows, there is a lot to worry about in this world, but these kids…

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On Garp, Enrollments, and Grace

On Garp, Enrollments, and Grace

A couple of weeks ago I listened to an interview with John Irving, the author of The World According to Garp, and a hostof other well-received novels. Irving published Garp forty years ago, and he reflected in this CBC interview about the importance of the book, and upon how well he thought the book still held up.             The most stable character in the story, Irving said, was Roberta, the transgendered former football player.  It was a new thing, Irving…

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The 10 Most Important Events in Native American History

The 10 Most Important Events in Native American History

It is finals week at Geneseo.  The students in my Native American history course have worked hard all semester.  They have read a lot: Native America, of course, but also the Bedford readers by Frederick Hoxie and Colin Calloway, Prucha’s Documents of US Indian Policy, David Silverman’s Red Brethren, and David Treuer’s Rez Life. I wanted to give them a project that would provide them with an occasion to show me what they knew, rather than what they did not…

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The Justice Department is Working Hard and Standing Still

The Justice Department is Working Hard and Standing Still

About a month ago the United States Department of Justice issued its report on Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions.  The report includes a wealth of data on how and why the Justice Department decided to prosecute or not prosecute violent crime committed in Indian Country.  As AP writer Mary Hudetz put it, the Justice Department’s “track record for prosecuting Indian Country crimes has not significantly changed in recent years, even amid programs and attempts to boost both public safety and…

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What You Need to Read, December 2018

What You Need to Read, December 2018

Adams, James David, Jr., and Troy Phipps. “Los Angeles Area Indian Land Ownership after the Civil War,” Journal of the West, 57 (Spring 2018), 7-13. Andersson, Rani Henrik. A Whirlwind Passed Through Our Country: Lakota Voices of the Ghost Dance, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018). Arnett, Chris and Jesse Morin. “The Rock Painting/Xela:Is of the Tsleil-Waututh: A Historicized Coast Salish Practice,” Ethnohistory, 65 (January 2018), 101-127. Ben-Zvi, Yael. Native Land Talk: Indigenous and Arrivant Rights Theories, (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth…

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President George H. W. Bush, (1924-2018)

President George H. W. Bush, (1924-2018)

President George Bush died late last week.  His funeral will take place in the next few days at the National Cathedral in Washington, before his family flies his body to College Station, where they will bury him on the grounds of his Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. Bush lived a long life in public service.  He served as a pilot in the second World War, as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as the US Ambassador to the…

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