For the week of Thanksgiving, let’s visit Plymouth Colony and the history of our earliest pilgrims.The Plymouth Colony Archive Projectis a wonderful resource for primary resources, scholarly books, and historic images. There are fully searchable materials such as court records and laws, maps, and individuals’ journals and memoirs. View excavation projects and the objects found by archaeologists near Plymouth Rock.
Want to know the real Thanksgiving story? Check out history.com’s Thanksgiving website. Did you know the movement of a turkey inspired a ballroom dance? Yup, it’s true; named, of course, the turkey trot. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
If you’ve never seen Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) tell his brother that he “could have been a contender”, then your popular culture education is incomplete!
“On the Waterfront” (1954, directed by Elia Kazan with a screenplay by Budd Schulberg) is a classic story of power, corruption, and redemption. Based on a serial newspaper story (and actual events) published in the New York Sun in 1948, it’s the story of a former boxer (Brando) turned dockworker who is torn between loyalty to his brother and the mob versus the girl he loves who wants him to tell the truth about a murder. Karl Malden plays a forceful and charismatic priest who is also after Terry to stand up against murder and corruption. Filmed on location with a grit that only Hoboken, NJ, could provide, this film won four Academy awards (best picture, best director, best actor (Brando), and best supporting actor (Eva Marie Saint)) and earned Brando accolades for his “shatteringly poignant” portrayal.
If you’d like to watch this great film (or watch it again), ask for Greenfield Library DVD GD99.
Part journalism and part memoir, Palestine uses the medium of comics to recount Sacco’s experiences in the Occupied Territories after the first intifada. Sacco’s style and compositions are unique and vital in portraying the often turbulent emotions and conflicts among the Palestineans and their experiences with the Israelis. His portrait of the many sides to the conflict is both thorough and eye-opening, and presents a viewpoint that is rarely seen in traditional media. While the book may seem dated, its insight into the conflict is no less relevant today.
There are many wonderful digital image collections of Native Americans. There are scenic photographs, formal portraits, and beautiful images of their artwork.
From the University of Washington Libraries, American Indians of the Pacific Northwest contains photographs and scholarly resources about the Northwest Coast and Plateau tribes, including the Tlingit and Nez Perce.
The Bancroft Library at UC Berkley has put together an online exhibition showcasing some of their rare books and ephemera related to Native Americans. View paintings and advertisements that reflect how Europeans viewed Native Americans as well as plenty of scholarship to accompany the images.
Finally, Surrounded by Beauty, from ArtsConnected, takes you through Native American culture and history by region. Check out the Northeast Woodlands to learn more about the tribes that used to live in the Philadelphia area. This is a well-researched website with beautiful images.
Liza Dalby entered the world of the Japanesegeishato learn about the women, and Japanese culture, behind the painted faces. Research and literature on karyukai, the “flower and willow world,” often looks atgeishafrom the outside; as an anthropologist, Dalby focuses on the geishas’ points of view. Over time and learning by observation (a key element togeishatraining), she went from American graduate student to Ichigiku of Pontocho, telling us all she discovered along the way. It’s a fascinating read about fiercely independent women who are well educated in music, dance, and theater.