YSU American Studies Program

What IS American Studies, and what can you DO with it? You'll also learn strategies for working with materials and methods of different kinds.

American Studies explores central themes and issues in American life using materials and approaches from literature, art, pop culture, history, and ideas about culture and social institutions that come from sociology, political science, geography, and other fields. American diversity, work, politics, and popular culture are central topics in most of our courses.


Happy holidays from American Studies. ❤️


Detroit hotel workers reach settlement with Westin Book Cadillac


clickondetroit.com Hotel workers represented by Local 24 reached a settlement Saturday with the Marriott-operated Westin Book Cadillac and ratified a contract with workers in the city. 


Evictions canceled at historic building in downtown Detroit

A win against rampant gentrification in Detroit.

clickondetroit.com It's a big win for people evicted from an historic Detroit building. Residents of the Park Avenue House no longer have to be out in days. They now have months to find a new place to live.


Opinion | It’s time to call out campus anti-Semitism by both the left and the right

The Michigan professor was dead wrong.

washingtonpost.com Administrators need to define clearly what hateful behavior is, and work to stop it.


Amazon warehouse workers skip bathroom breaks to keep their jobs, says report

Yes, we all enjoy our Prime 2-day shipping, Prime deals, etc. (I'm guilty, too.) But how much do all of those great deals really cost in human suffering?

theverge.com "From their point of view, we don’t have the right to be ill," one worker wrote anonymously.


Amazon workers in Europe go on strike during Prime Day

Workers of the World Unite!

aljazeera.com Amazon warehouses in several European countries hit with Prime Day strike action over salaries and benefits.


Ta-Nehisi Coates Will Write Captain America for Marvel Comics

Well, this should be interesting.

vulture.com The relaunched series hits on the Fourth of July.


Who Really Designed the American Dime?

Your Black History moment - early.

atlasobscura.com The controversy that has long roiled the coin world.


C-SPAN caller claims Obama ‘started’ racism by ‘stirring up’ trouble: ‘Our black people have a good life’

Blaming the victim for their own abuse? It was Obama's fault for reminding white people that there were African Americans in the country.

rawstory.com C-SPAN host Pedro Echevarria on Monday challenged a caller who claimed that racial problems in the U.S. began after President Barack Obama was elected and “started stirring up” divisive feelings.


President Trump reportedly refers to Haiti, African nations as s***hole countries

Prescott Hall and Madison Grant would be so proud.

clickondetroit.com While speaking to members of Congress about immigration, President Donald Trump allegedly referred to countries such as Haiti and other African nations as s***thole countries.


Meet Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the U.S.

Still, we rise.

washingtonpost.com Andrea Jenkins has made history as the first openly transgender black woman elected to public office in the United States, gender advocates say.


Economic Nationalism and the Half-Life of Deindustrialization

From WCS.

workingclassstudies.wordpress.com In a 60 Minutes interview in September, Steven Bannon touted his form of economic nationalism and suggested that Democrats like Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S Representative Tim Ryan understood his …


3 things I learned from delivering medical aid to a remote part of Puerto Rico

theconversation.com It's hard but feasible to make a difference, as long as you work with the locals and don't become a 'disaster tourist.'


Who started Labor Day? The bloody and confusing history of an American holiday.

Who started Labor Day?

washingtonpost.com More than a century after Labor Day became a federal holiday, who should get the credit for creating it? That's a matter of dispute.


Karl Marx Makes a Comeback

Timely and critical.

workingclassstudies.wordpress.com Several months ago the Communist party in Russia updated their visual propaganda by giving three of their most controversial icons—Lenin, Stalin, and Karl Marx—a makeover. In their new poster serie…


Barack Obama

Obama cares. ❤️

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.


Helen Keller Writes a Letter to N**i Students Before They Burn Her Book: “History Has Taught You Nothing If You Think You Can Kill Ideas” (1933)

openculture.com Helen Keller achieved notoriety not only as an individual success story, but also as a prolific essayist, activist, and fierce advocate for poor and marginalized people.


NC Senate Republicans punish Dems by stripping education funding from Democratic districts in 3 a.m. vote


rawstory.com During a vote at 3 a.m. on Friday morning, angry Republicans in the North Carolina state Senate cut education funding from the districts of Democratic senators.


Vindy.com - Youngstown election results reflect racial divide

vindy.com Youngstown, Ohio | breaking news, local news, sports, classifieds, jobs, real estate, cars, Warren, Austintown, Boardman, Canfield, Poland


Looking for students who want a strong career choice. American Studies can enhance your career, make you a better person, and improve your love life. 🤓


‘Irish slaves’: Historian destroys racist myth conservatives love to share on Facebook

Why we need legitimate historians.

rawstory.com White supremacists have been promoting the myth that the first slaves brought to the Americas were Irish, not African — but a historian says there’s simply no evidence to back their racist claims.


Rift in women's studies over Listserv comments on transgender issues

insidehighered.com Popular online discussion group sees resignations and call for boycott over comments some see as bigotry toward trans scholars.


In 1912, Thousands of Women Rallied Against 'Useless' Christmas Giving

atlasobscura.com Members of The Society for the Prevention of Useless Giving were known as Spugs.


Trump demands apology from ‘Hamilton’ after cast’s message to Pence

Why would Orange Dump supporters try to see Hamilton anyway? The show is full of everything they hate. Talk about an empty boycott!

washingtonpost.com "We hope that you will hear us out,” the cast of “Hamilton” said to Pence at the end of its show Friday.


Robert Vaughn Dies: ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E’ Star Was 83

deadline.com Robert Vaughn, whose Napoleon Solo on NBC’s spy yarn The Man From U.N.C.L.E. set TV’s 1960s standard for suavity and crimebusting cool, died this morning after a brief battle with acute…



Stand with us.

our100.org An open letter to America from 100 women of color leaders


New Obama Rule Will STOP Republicans From Defunding Planned Parenthood – Forever

The continued GOP war on anyone who is not a white, wealthy, hetero male.

addictinginfo.org Is he trying to make us miss him even more?


‘I don’t know’: Miami cop admits he shot unarmed black hospital worker for no reason

So, explain to me again why BLM is a "terrorist" organization.

rawstory.com On Wednesday evening, a disturbing new video emerged showing a Miami police officer shooting an unarmed hospital worker who was lying on the ground with his hands up.


Disgraced Conservative Former Soldier Sees Imaginary War Against July 4th

Still crazy after all these years.

addictinginfo.org Conservatives think there is a war against Independence Day now.


Jack Daniel’s Embraces a Hidden Ingredient: Help From a Slave

Fascinating, overlooked piece of American culture.

nytimes.com On its 150th anniversary, the Tennessee whiskey distillery concedes that its official history didn’t tell the whole story of its origins.


Two scholars engage in debate on Twitter and elsewhere over 'King Lear'

Even academics can go off the rails.

insidehighered.com Scholar vents 'bitterly sarcastic' 500-tweet attack on another scholar's book on King Lear.


Fall 2016 semester begins August 24. If you are interested in American Studies, please contact me. The Graduate School also provides some funding for new grad students.


Alabama teacher disciplined for giving math test about guns, gangs, drugs and ‘ho’s’


washingtonpost.com The quiz was racist and wildly inappropriate, parents said.


Controversial president leaves University of Akron

insidehighered.com President leaves suddenly, after outsourcing deals that didn't work, enrollment declines and presidential house renovation that struck many as over the top. Then there was the olive jar.


The Price of Living in Detroit: An Open Thread

detroit.curbed.com We keep reporting the numbers, but what are the issues that really factor into living in the city?

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