For 35 years, David Schuyler, F&M's Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and American Studies, has challenged his students to view the subjects of culture and history from multiple perspectives. He takes that same approach as a researcher and writer, a scholarly method that has earned him the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York from the New York Academy of History at Columbia University, his alma mater. The honor recognizes Schuyler's 2012 book Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909, and is the third prize the volume has won. In a recurring feature on the College website called "Three Questions," Schuyler discusses the valley's significance to the United States, why landscape histories matter, and the evolution of teaching and learning in F&M's American Studies program. Click here to read more.
War shapes nations, communities, and individuals. The Iraq War is no different, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where Franklin & Marshall College is situated, is one of those communities. A significant number of Iraq War veterans and Iraqis live in Lancaster: the county ranks fifth in Pennsylvania for veteran population and more than 100 Iraqis live here. In the Spring 2014 semester, students from Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies David Keiran's After War seminar interviewed local Iraq War veterans and Iraqi immigrants and produced an interactive timeline to tell their stories. Click here to view the timeline. See related story, below, for more about the class. Pictured in this image from the timeline is Brian Zickefoose, a U.S. Army major who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With a well-established community of veterans and an influx of new Iraqi immigrants, the Lancaster area has experienced the lasting effects of the Iraq War in a way that provided a group of F&M students a unique glimpse into the personal costs of war. Students in Visiting Professor of American Studies David Kieran's seminar After War and Professor of Film and Media Studies Dirk Eitzen’s Documentary Video Workshop interviewed local Iraq War veterans and Iraqi refugees to learn about their experiences and how they were affected by the conflict. Click here to read the story.
After four years of serving as a mentor to his classmates and local high school students, providing tremendous leadership in the classroom and on the football field, and pursuing with dynamic intellect and insatiable curiosity a major in American studies, Michael Haines can say he got the most out of his F&M experience. At the College's Commencement ceremony May 10, his contributions as a scholar, leader and athlete earned Haines the 2014 Williamson Medal, the College's most prestigious award for student achievement. Click here to read the story.
A group of experts and activists were invited to F&M on February 12 by Visiting Professor of American Studies David Kieran for a panel discussion of the aftermath and continuing struggles in Iraq a decade after U.S. intervention. The panelists, all members of the the Right to Heal advocacy group dedicated to publicizing continuing issues with Iraq War-related consequences, also visited Professor Kieran's AMS Senior Seminar, After War. Students in the class currently are studying the effects of the war, and as final project will create a digital exhibit of local Iraq veterans and Iraqi immigrants. Click here to read the story by Warren Glynn '15.
David Schuyler, the Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and American Studies, reflected on the life of American folk singer and environmental activist Pete Seeger upon learning of his death on January 28. This photo was taken at the event in Downing Park mentioned in these comments.
Raise a toast tonight to Pete Seeger, who died early this morning at age 94. He was an amazing person, always fighting for social justice and the environment. Even into his early 90s Pete organized a protest against the Iraq war at the intersection of routes 9 and 9A just north of Beacon, NY, where he lived, whatever the weather.
This is a photo from the last time we were together, at Downing Park in Newburgh, when we were honored for our contributions to the Hudson Valley (Pete's dwarfed mine). That evening he sang about six songs, and started by introducing a song that a friend of his had written but had never been copyrighted or recorded until he recorded it around 1950. He then asked us all to join in and sang "This Land Was Our Land."
Pete was just an amazing man. I'll miss him, but his voice is singing in the background as I write, and his legacy will live on.
Michael Haines '14, an American Studies major and member of the Diplomats football team, was named Scholar-Athlete of the Month in November. An article on the Diplomats website states, "Every team needs players that will make a difference on the field, but more importantly, every successful team has difference makers off the field as well. Michael Haines personifies this for the Franklin & Marshall football team." Among other accomplishments, Mike is a member of the AMS Honor Society of the Eastern American Studies Association, which recognizes junior and senior AMS majors who have achieved a certain GPA and have produced high-quality, creative work. Click here to read the story.
American Studies Professor and Director of the Writing Center Daniel Frick is one of four F&M faculty who reflect on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination in this article on the College website. Professor Frick teaches a course called As Seen on TV, which "investigates the representation of history-making moments in the mass media." At a recent American Studies Road Show, an occasional gathering of AMS majors and students considering the discipline, students from As Seen on TV presented a class project in which they analyzed media coverage of the first few hours after JFK's assasination. The course is being offered again in Spring 2014.
At Common Hour on November 14, 2013, Dennis Deslippe, associate professor of American Studies and Women's & Gender Studies at F&M, moderated a panel discussion about the future of higher education in the Lancaster area. Presidents of four area colleges and universities participated. Click here to read the story.
Selected masterworks of artists of the Hudson River School were on display in the Leonard and Mildred Rothman Gallery of the Phillips Museum of Art in the Steinman College Center from September 13 to December 15, 2013. American Studies Professor David Schuyler played a key role in bringing the exhibit to campus. Click here and here to read articles about "The Hudson River to Niagara Falls: 19th-Century American Landscape Paintings from the New-York Historical Society."
American Studies Professor David Kieran (second from left) was one of four F&M faculty members who participated in a panel discussion on Sept. 10, 2013, about possible U.S. intervention in Syria. Click here to read a story on the college website; click here for local news coverage of the event. (Photo by Melissa Hess)