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Family farms vs. Americanism

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | May 6, 2015

Although much of today’s debates around immigration reform is, on the surface, about legalities and economics and human rights, we know that below the surface – and sometimes above it – a lot of it is about cultural assimilation. Resisters worry that recent immigrants, usually meaning those from south of the border rather than those … Continue reading »

Abe Lincoln

Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy | April 17, 2015

Wednesday was the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death. It’s hard to spend too much time reflecting on Lincoln; I use the first thing he ever published, comparing two infrastructure projects in a local election campaign, as an example of policy analysis avant la lettre, and he just gets better and better from there. Even … Continue reading »

Bible readings

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | May 14, 2014

A recent story noted that president of the Hobby Lobby company, the company that took its religious objections to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) all the way to the Supreme Court, is a leader in a campaign to put Bibles and Bible classes into American public schools. As you would expect, this move is getting push back … Continue reading »

Word counts and what counts

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | September 27, 2013

A post back in June on “digital humanities” discussed the promises and perils of turning to “Big Data” to answer questions about American history. I focused there on a study that looked specifically at the history of American literature. A paper in Psychological Science this August uses the same tool – the Ngram function in … Continue reading »

Jupiter Hammon should be a household name

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | February 17, 2013

But my guess is, many readers didn’t know his name a week ago– and some still don’t. So let’s correct that. According to the Lloyd Harbor Historical Society, Jupiter Hammon was “America’s First Colonial Afro-American Published Poet”. Hammon was born and died in slavery, living from 1711 to after the American Revolution with successive generations … Continue reading »

18th-century Twitterfeed

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | January 13, 2011

One topic of our times is whether and to what effect we are being drowned by information – radio, television, email, web sites, blogs (like this one), twitter feeds, alerts on our cell phones, and more. Every event – an airplane disaster, a politician’s slip of the tongue, the breaking of a sports record – … Continue reading »