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Two things going on in my mind simultaneously. I have an interview this afternoon for a tt job. I also have a bit of a crush on our costumer (I was in a play this last month, which is why you didn’t hear much from me). I should be thinking about the academic interview (they want me to be able to teach both sections of the US History survey, and I haven’t thought about the first half in a long time), but instead I’m wondering if this woman is gay, and if she is, would she be interested in a fatty like me. Seeing the pictures from the play really brought home to me just how much weight I’ve gained lately and how much work I need to do to lose it. *SIGH*

But, ok. Let’s think about this. What would I teach if I taught the first half of the US syllabus? Certainly the interaction between the three major cultural groups–African, European, and Indian. The different denominations of Christianity. The rise of the Enlightenment paralleling the Great Awakening. But what about specific books? I taught Equiano, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Jacobs last semester. All are so not “normal” slaves, but they get across a lot of interesting information about slavery and Africa and America. Each also encouraged students to take away lessons that I would rather they not–for instance, in Douglass’ case, that most slaves did not resist, that most slaves were so terrorized that they rolled over and took it. Now, sometimes I wonder if the relative absence of large scale slave revolts in the US suggests that enslaved peoples adapted to their circumstances more than we sometimes discuss (as if I have read much about slavery–but I get the sense that contemporary authors look for resistance and agency in every way they can). But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t resist in myriad “small” daily ways, in order to continue to maintain their humanity. Maybe I could talk about the love stories between enslaved people that were in that one collection of primary sources–that’s a great source and was really compelling for the students.

But how can I show that I know more about the period than African American history? I just emailed a grad school colleague who specializes in Native American history–maybe he will share his syllabus with me, though I doubt it would be before 2 o’clock.

Hmmm found a cool teacher’s syllabus about teaching US History within a world context. A lot of the topics are familiar, though many of the readings are new. Will study this for awhile.

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