Thank you again to Ed Lorenz and Jane Jelenek (pictured below) of the Pine River Superfund Citizens Task Force for paying visits to my Environmental Justice class! As always, it’s been a perfect introduction to Michigan’s very sordid history of poisoning and disaster, and I’m “grateful” (if that’s at all appropriate) that the atrocity happening in East Palestine, OH has brought them greater national attention across multiple media.
Tag Archives: central michigan university
Upcoming Talk on How Minstrelsy/Blackface are Baked into American Pop Culture
For anybody in Central Michigan, I’ll be delivering a special lecture next week for the Honors Program Personal Development Project (PDP) series.
I’ll be bringing back one of my favorite lectures from my curriculum on the Geography of American Popular Culture. From the poster/site description:
Pop Culture in the United States, like American History at large, must address uncomfortable realities about its past (and present) to embrace what has made it remarkable. Early forms of American music, theater, and eventually film, radio, and television are inextricable from the minstrel show – generally speaking, mockery of African-Americans by white performers and audiences. However, as with anything in popular culture, the realities, appeals, and most influential performers exist within gray areas. As this lecture argues, much of the most persevering and influential American art – all the way from The Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup (1933) to Childish Gambino’s “This is America” (2018) – has happened as a reaction to minstrelsy rather than embrace of it.
See you next Thursday, October 20th, at 6pm in DOW Science Complex Room 102 (not Pearce 127, the original location as posted on the Honors site).
A Postcard Mini-Assignment (GEO 121)
Here, I hold a stack of postcards written by my students in GEO 121 (Intro to Globalization), about to go into the post. As of this writing, they’re on their way all over the country.
I created this mini-assignment in equal parts as a tribute to the US Postal Service as well as a simple lesson on a lost art (or, at least a heavily niched one). So many students told me they had never composed or sent a postcard before. Well, now they have, and their friends and relatives are in for a surprise.
Veit’s Woods Hike 09.25.20
On Friday, I tagged along with Dr. Mark Francek and the Central Michigan University Geography and Environmental Club for a hike through Viet’s Woods, a CMU property to the west of Campus. Here are some pictures. If you’d like to learn more about what the CMU GEO/ENV Club, follow them on Twitter and reach out.
Geography Department Talk TOMORROW: Geography and Popular Culture (DOW 270)
For anybody who is either around the Dow Science Complex on the Central Michigan campus tomorrow (Friday 11/1) or enjoys eating gratis lunch, I’ll be giving a talk at Noon! Join me and my colleagues in DOW 270 to learn about my research, the overlap between Geography and Pop Culture, and see me break down what I mean by Symbolic Gentrification. I look forward to seeing you.
Those details again:
Friday, November 1, 12pm – 1pm
Central Michigan University
Dow Science Complex Room 270
There will be lunch. And cookies, probably.
‘I’m not a woman / I’m not a man’ Geography and Gender (GEO 360) Available this Spring at CMU
I once told myself that if I ever had the opportunity to teach a course on gender and geography, I would feature Prince on the flyer. So, here is me keeping that promise to myself. On second glance, I’m not sure whether that’s Minneapolis sprawling out behind him, but it should be.
Anyway, for any Central Michigan students interested in the course (Registration Open as of last week – CRN 22387709), I have a draft syllabus available which includes focuses on numerous topics including the spatiality of gender, the role of gender in urban development, a crash course in feminist geography, toxic masculinity, and representations of gender in place in film, TV, and music. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions.
A New Life in a New Town (Central Michigan University)
or, I could just call this entry ‘Fire Up, Chips!’
I would say I’m surprised I haven’t written anything here about my new position and base of operations in Mt. Pleasant, MI, but that would involve me ignoring how little I’ve posted in general over the past month. I’m still hoping to post some pictures from the IAG meeting in Hobart, I swear.
Right before I left for Australia, I accepted a position as a Lecturer in the department of Geography and Environmental Science at Central Michigan University. I’m teaching four classes this semester: two sections of the world regional course GEO 121 WI (that means writing-intensive), one section of ENV 101 WI (Introduction to Environmental Science…writing-intensive), and one section of GEO 350 (The United States and Canada). So far, I have no complaints. I’m working with a great new faculty who have been overwhelmingly supportive, and from what I can tell now that classes have begun, really cool students as well. I had trouble preparing to teach my class today because so many people were stopping by to ask how I was doing, offer help wherever needed, or invite me to play pickleball (which I’m sure will be a blast, once I look up what that is).
Also, I can’t say enough good things about living in the middle of the Mitten. Mt. Pleasant in particular is a wonderful place, with extreme walk-ability, wonderful cycling culture, a disproportionately high number of good radio stations, a cat-fé, and if you move here on a Thursday toward the end of the summer, Max & Emily’s may enable you to watch Brian Vander Ark and his band play a free show minutes from your house. For the life of me, I cannot remember a more fortuitous “Welcome, Tyler!” moment anywhere else I’ve moved.
Brian also welcomed me to Michigan via Instagram (a proposition that would make less than zero sense to my thirteen-year-old self, enjoying a Verve Pipe video on MTV), telling me to say hello to Mustard Plug when I go see them at the Bell’s Brewery in October. I guess those rumors about the great Grand Rapids ska/alt-rock beef were unfounded after all.
As always, thanks for reading. Back to lesson-planning and life-organizing.
- Part Three of “Tyler Down Under” (It’s going to happen!)
- Part One of “The Ben Irving Postcards Go to Michigan”
- Updates on CMU Course Work and hopefully some news about Capitals of Punk