Pete’s Dragon, Trigger Warnings, and Safe Spaces

I took my son to see the new Pete’s Dragon movie. (It was good.) It got me thinking about trigger warnings, but not in the way you might think. (Mild spoilers ahead.) Just before Pete’s parents die, his mom says something complimentary to him. Then, years later, the new mother-figure in the movie says almost […]

Race in Contemporary America

On Friday I gave my last lectures at Cal Poly Pomona. The lesson, a new version of a one I developed last fall, attempts to give some context to what we’ve seen recently in Ferguson and Baltimore. The lesson is framed with some remarks delivered by Ta-Nehisi Coates at Johns Hopkins, just after the recent […]

Lessons You Should Have Learned From History

I have been reflecting recently on what I teach and why I teach and what frustrating ideas I encounter about history among adults. So here is my list of lessons they should have learned from history, and which I hope I am helping my students discover for themselves. Old is not a reason – Saying […]

Ferguson, In Context

On Friday, for our last session of class, I taught my students about contemporary inequality in America and the process of racial segregation in the Ferguson area. I’d planned this since the summer, when I learned that I would have one more day of instruction than usual. I had no idea that the grand jury’s decision […]