A talk by Matthew Frye Jacobson, Yale University
Location: McCormick Hall 101
Date/Time: 11/29/11 at 4:30 pm - 11/29/11 at 6:00 pm
Beginning as a modest effort in early 2009 to capture the historic moment of our first black president’s inauguration in photographs and interviews, the Historian’s Eye website has evolved into an expansive collection of some 2000+ photographs and an extensive audio archive addressing Obama’s first term in office, the ’08 economic collapse and its fallout, two wars, the raucous politics of healthcare reform, the emergence of a new right-wing formation in opposition to Obama, the politics of immigration, Wall Street reform, the BP oil spill, the escalation of anti-Muslim
sentiment nationwide, and grassroots movements on both right and left. Interviewees narrate and reflect upon their own personal histories as well, a dimension of the archive that now spans many decades and touches five continents. The momentum of our culture encourages very short memory and very quick judgment. Historian’s Eye asks you to slow down; to look and to listen; to pay close attention and to notice; to entertain a variety of perspectives; to ask varied questions; to think about the current moment as possessing a deep history, and also to think of it as itself historical—futurity’s history. Above all, Historian’s Eye asks you to pitch in and to talk back.
Matthew Frye Jacobson is Professor of American Studies, African American Studies, and History at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University in 1992, and is the author of Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post–Civil Rights America (2006); What Have They Built You to Do? The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America (with Gaspar Gonzalez, 2006); Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917 (2000); Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (1998); and Special Sorrows: The Diasporic Imagination of Irish, Polish, and Jewish Immigrants in the United States (1995). He is currently at work on Odetta's Voice and Other Weapons: The Civil Rights Era as Cultural History, and a multimedia documentary project devoted to the Obama presidency and political life in contemporary America. His teaching interests are clustered under the general rubric of race in U.S. political culture, including U.S. imperialism, immigration and migration, popular culture, and the juridical structures of U.S. citizenship.
Department: Center for African American Studies