Stories indexed with the term ‘American culture’

A2: Unplugged

The Detroit Free Press reports on local participants in the National Day of Unplugging, which begins at sundown on Friday, March 1. The article quotes Davy Rothbart of Ann Arbor: “For me, unplugging for the day is a way to remember how I interacted with the world before I had my smartphone stapled to my jawbone.” [Source]

UM American Culture Unit Becomes Dept.

The University of Michigan’s American culture program has been granted departmental status, following a vote by the UM regents at their July 19, 2012 meeting.

The program, formed in 1952, houses several other programs – in Arab American studies, Native American studies, Latina/Latino studies, and Asian/Pacific Islander American studies. According to a staff memo, the departmental status of American culture will clarify its relationships with these other programs, and bring it into equivalent structural status with similar units, including women’s studies, which became a department in 2007, and Afroamerican and African studies, which received departmental status in 2010. The change will take effect Sept. 1, 2012.

This brief was filed from the Michigan Union’s Rogel ballroom, where the board held its … [Full Story]

Column: Our Swimsuits, Ourselves

We went to Pickerel Lake on a Thursday morning because my wife wanted to swim across a lake, and Pickerel is the only jet-ski-free body of water in the area. When we arrived at the tiny shingle of beach, an old man was already there, sitting in a folding chair in his straw hat, towels draped over shoulders and lap.

We exchanged simple “hellos,” and I noticed he had an accent – maybe British or Continental, maybe Wealthy New England, hard to tell with just one word. Another family – a woman with two daughters bracketing our toddler’s age – arrived. My wife got in the water. Our three-year-old and I began digging in the muck, he in a zip-up bathing suit with built-in life vest, me in pants and a button down shirt. I don’t swim.

When I heard the old man talking with the other mother, I looked up to see him wearing an absurd swimming costume: Some sort of homemade mustard-yellow G-string, a banana-sling with two thin cords, one around his waist, the other up his butt. He was facing away, so his stringy, pale hams were to me.

And then he turned. [Full Story]