Mon, Sept 27 – Okies On The Road

by Dr. H - September 24th, 2021

Ahead of Monday, please read:

Excerpt from John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

Short overview of photographs taken by the Farm Security Administration (FSA)

Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” Photographs in the FSA Collection (Library of Congress Research Guide)

Eschner, “Meet 10 Depression-Era Photographers who Captured the Struggle of America,Smithsonian Magazine (2017)

Boxer, “Whitewashing the Great Depression,” The Atlantic (Dec 2020)

Fri, Sept 24 – Route 66, The Mother Road

by Dr. H - September 24th, 2021

Room Map of the Day

Route 66 Maps

National Park Service Route 66 website

List of Route 66 museums

Wed, Sept 22 – Hamilton’s Itinerarium

by Dr. H - September 22nd, 2021

Links for today:

Attendance / Room Map

Consult Historical Maps (David Rumsey)

Map Hamilton’s route

Define Old Words (access via WSU Library –> Databases)


More on the Peutinger Table, the ancient Roman road map

Mon, Sept 20 – Lewis and Clark

by Dr. H - September 20th, 2021

Jefferson’s instructions:

Clips: Ken Burns, Lewis and Clark (PBS)
View: The First American Expedition, A Beautiful New Territory, The Corps of Many Discoveries, Expedition Journals, An American Story

Listen: Audio 3,

Map of their route:

Journals of Lewis and Clark

Wed, Sept 15 – Fast Food

by Dr. H - September 14th, 2021

Diner cooks (“short order” cooks) and waitstaff have a long tradition of slang to communicate about the food and the customers. Partly this is just fun and quirky to know about — but partly, it points to the existence of distinct American subcultures, and to the evolution of language in social contexts. In other words, it’s not just a curiosity … it’s something worth studying in its own right. 

Maybe over a glass of muddy moo. 

Here’s a couple of lists to explore:

Understanding Diner Lingo: 55 Phrases to Get You Started (Mental Floss) 

Diner Lingo: How To Talk Like a Short-Order Cook (Connecticut Magazine) 

A Quick Lesson in Essential Diner Lingo (LifeHacker)

Film clips:

A Short History of Diners (from Professor Hangen)

A renovated ’50s diner in Indiana

Automat Memories (Horn and Hardart)

Automat 2.0 – contactless dining in NJ, 2021 style

“Two for a Penny,” Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Mon, Sept 13 – Library Scavenger Hunt

by Dr. H - September 13th, 2021

Follow-up from Library Day:

How to Read a Library of Congress Call Number (University of Arkansas)

How to Read Library of Congress Classification Number (Thompson Library, University of Michigan Flint)

Library of Congress Classification Tutorial (West Kentucky Community and Technical College)

LOC Call Numbers (State College of Florida)

Wikipedia Workshop Links:

A sample entry (Edsel)

Five Pillars of Wikipedia

Wikipedia: What it is Not

Welcome, Fall 2021 Honors Students!

by Dr. H - August 30th, 2021

Hi all!

Looking forward to meeting everyone. Here are the details for our first class meeting:

Friday, September 3 at 10:30 am in Sullivan 318 104 (note the room change!). This is located on the first floor of Sullivan, close to the Sullivan Auditorium.

What to bring: laptop, face mask.

What to expect: we’ll get to know each other, read and discuss a short essay, and have an in-class activity to get things rolling.

See you soon! 

Journey’s End (Fall 2015)

by Dr. H - November 30th, 2015

We’re in the home stretch of the semester and the course. It’s been a long haul… perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of long-haul trucking and interstate bus service in the history of the twentieth century American road and the roadside.

Tues 12/1 – we’ll screen parts of a documentary called Big Rig; in preparation, please read John McPhee’s short essay, “Land of the Diesel Bear” (PDF on Blackboard).

Thurs 12/3 – Last Writing Workshop day. Bring both your drafts (third draft for H-Lab #4, second draft for H-Lab #5) for one last session of polishing and refining. Course Reflection survey will be posted on this day, please complete it online.

Tues 12/8 – Course Wrap-Up / Last Day of Class. Screening in class: Freedom Riders American Experience documentary

Wed 12/9 – Reading Day. I invite & encourage you to attend the First Year Showcase to celebrate the achievements and learning of your fellow first-year students.

Writing Packets for both H-Lab #4 and #5 are due Thursday, 12/10 by midnight. Dropoff in the history dept in the mailbox on my door (Sullivan 327D) is fine. Thanks for a great ride and best of luck wherever your academic & geographic travels take you!

Coming Home: Travels with Charley

by Dr. H - November 12th, 2015

For 11/17 and 11/19 we’ll focus on John Steinbeck’s compact, charming account of a cross-country road trip in a converted pickup truck camper named Rocinante, accompanied by his French poodle Charley. The trip was taken in the fall of 1960. Along the way, we’ll talk about what Steinbeck hoped to learn and what he actually did (or didn’t) learn from his travels about himself and his country… and compare his writing style, narrative journey, and degree of realism (fiction? nonfiction? memoir?) in the text to both On the Road and Hell’s Angels.

Tues 11/17 Reading: Parts One and Two

Internet Archive
Life Magazine on Google Books
Billboard Magazine
Time covers

Thurs 11/19 Reading: Parts Three and Four

On Tues 11/24, please bring your current drafts as *printed papers*. You should have a new/updated #4 draft (Memoir paper) and a 2-3 page draft for your #5 (Film) paper that contains a description, overview and/or synopsis of the film – which hopefully, you’ve screened more than once by this time.

Road Bad Boys & Girls

by Dr. H - November 6th, 2015

This week, we look at some real counterculture figures on the American road: bikers and outlaws. Our reading includes two articles that provide cultural critiques of road films as well as one day discussing Hunter S. Thompson‘s 1967 (non?)fiction/memoir “saga,” Hell’s Angels, which takes us straight into some of the nation’s roughest motorcycle gangs in the mid-1960s. It’s long, gritty, rambling, and occasionally outright offensive – and Thompson wrote it that way on purpose, to shock his readers and establish his own uniquely authentic voice. His style came to be called “gonzo journalism.” Although it began as a profile of “outsider culture” in America, ironically, over the course of his research for Hell’s Angels, Thompson himself became something of an insider to the outsider culture of motorcycle gangs.

Tues 11/10 Reading: Laderman, “What a Trip: The Road Film and American Culture” and Eraso, “Thelma and Louise: ‘Easy Riders’ in a Male Genre” (PDFs on Blackboard). We’ll screen some clips from The Wild One (1953), Easy Rider (1969), and Thelma and Louise (1991). We’ll be looking at how to read a film as a historic text, analyzing film sequences and filmic storytelling and how this differs from storytelling in print. How do films establish narrative? What kinds of history can we get from films? What can we learn about road culture, fears about violence and lawlessness, or rootlessness of the same generation as Kerouac but taken in a very different direction?

Thurs 11/12 Reading: Hell’s Angels, everyone read “Roll ‘Em Boys” and Postscript, and then remember to read the chapters on either side of your assigned chapter.

Image credit: Leonard Smalls, the “Lone Biker of the Apocalypse,” from Raising Arizona