Monday, September 1, 2014

Introduction to Williams-Forson & Chapter 1

Today we begin discussion of Williams-Forson's Building Houses out of Chicken Legs. This blog post is not designed to be an exhaustive recap of what we will cover in class, but it will offer a few highlights to help you think about why we are reading the book.

This book is a work in the field of American Studies, an interdisciplinary area of study that might include traditional methodologies such as history, art, musicology, archaeology, literary theory, etc. in combination to make a broad, typically cultural argument. I say "typically" because the field if American studies has grown more diverse to encompass the sciences, technology, economics, and business. Interdisciplinary scholarship at its best is exciting. Our class, like most First Year Seminars, has been designed to be interdisciplinary.

Whose story is the author of your book trying to tell?

Why is this story difficult to tell? 

In what way is the author being interdisciplinary in her approach?

Absorbing Interdisciplinary Scholarship:

I want you to build a curiosity about what you read, especially if it is unfamiliar material. Since we are almost always within reach of an internet enabled device, there really isn't any excuse for you to not learn more about the individuals and topics you encounter. Unfortunately, KFC has eliminated any available online copy of their rapping Colonel Sanders ad that the author mentions. What does its absence tell you?

Because American Studies is so interdisciplinary, your author will bring many sources to the table, like the KFC ad.

What are some of the sources that she analyzes to tell her story?

Why chicken?

What is the importance of the marketplace?

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