Society of Early Americanists, 7th Biennial Conference, Phila., PA, March 3-5, 2011
This roundtable will examine how we can most effectively teach texts, films, and images that depict early America but were created in later centuries. How can we help students understand literary, historical, or artistic interpretations of key themes in early American life? How do we teach texts that blur lines between fiction and non-fiction? How do we teach students to analyze an artistic process that begins with historical research and reflection but ultimately leads the artist to re-present early America imaginatively or inaccurately? What, exactly, are we studying in our classrooms when we study re-presentations of early America? Presenters are encouraged to focus on specific works they have taught and should highlight pedagogical strategies and assignments that have worked well for them. Possible topics include texts such as Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Kamensky & Lepore’s Blindspot, and the children’s classic Johnny Tremain; films such as Black Robe, The Patriot, and Amistad; historical documentaries; and images ranging from John Trumbull’s iconic but after-the-fact painting of the Second Continental Congress to contemporary political cartoons.
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