I’m thinking of teaching The Clansman by Thomas Dixon next semester. Dixon was a white supremacist, an admirer of the Confederacy, and a staunch supporter of Jim Crow. The Clansman, the second installment of a trilogy about the post-Civil War South, became the basis of one of the most influential films in cinema history, D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. The novel is replete with racist invective and celebrates the KKK. It is also a historically significant text that provides insight into the ideology of white supremacy and the political uses of the genre of historical romance. Do you think this kind of fiction belongs in the classroom? Would you be interested in reading such a book in one of your courses? If you have any thoughts on this matter please share them, either in the comments field of this post or via email. I appreciate your feedback.
In addition to the Shaw article on the historical novel (see reader) here is an excerpt from de Groot’s study of the genre:
These recommendations include some of the films and books I consumed this semester.
Ann Leckie, Ancillary Justice
One of the most original sci-fi novels I’ve read in a long time.
Nalo Hopkinson, Midnight Robber
An Afrofuturist novel that, in my opinion, far outstrips Binti.
Bruce Cumings, The Korean War
Many Americans know very little about this war, and misperceptions of it continue to distort political discourse in the US. As a result of this conflict roughly 1 in 5 people in North Korea were killed.