Friday, February 15, 2013

Plate Lunch Imperialism

Plate lunch from Rainbow Drive-In, photo from Go Visit Hawaii
In her book on the US conquest of Hawaii, Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell writes:

Sugar plantation workers used to share food at lunchtime, swapping tofu and Chinese noodles for Korean spareribs and Portuguese bread. That habit of hodgepodge got passed down, evolving into the plate lunch now served at diners, drive-ins and lunch trucks throughout the Hawaiian archipelago….Rainbow Drive-In's menu, offering teriyaki, hot dogs, mahimahi, and Portuguese sausage, reads like a list of what America is supposed to be like--a neighborly mishmash (8).

Considering the imperialism debate within the US at the end of the 19th century, the Filipino resistance and the acquisition of colonial territories, to what degree do you think that America's increasing involvement in world affairs led to a "plate lunch" culture at home?

Vowell, Sarah. Unfamiliar Fishes. New York: Riverhead Books, 2011.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Plessy v. Ferguson

Note: This week is complicated. Section 022 (M/Th) only meets once this week (on Monday) and Section 020 (Tu/F) meets twice on Thursday and Friday. The material we cover in class may vary between sections because of this. Don't panic. Use your textbook and we'll collect ourselves after next week (which is also complicated).

ETA: Because of the schedule changes this week and next week, this post will be available to comment on until approximately 8:30 am on Wednesday, February 20. You will be able to comment on the Massacre at Rock Springs until approximately 8:30 am on Thursday, February 14. I realize this is confusing, but we'll be back to our regular schedule soon.

Also, please remember to use your full name (no pseudonyms or anonymous posts) when you comment so that your classmates know to whom they are speaking and so you can receive credit for participating.

A cafe near the tobacco market, Durham, NC, Library of Congress
The decision in Plessy v. Ferguson established legal segregation of races in the United States. Despite being overturned in 1954 by the decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Plessy decision remains one of the most important cases in the history of the Supreme Court. Look here for a synopsis of the case and read the excerpts from Justice John Marshall Harlan's dissenting opinion. Identify Justice Harlan's main argument, and one example that he uses to support that argument. Why is his dissent significant?