ABOUT ME: Radical queer femme grad student in the upper right hand region of the U.S. Any more details might be incriminating.

THE PURPOSE: I'm reading for my oral comprehensive exams for my PhD in American Studies. I have over 200 books to read and only 180 days until the exam (you do the math). That equals (at least) ONE BOOK A DAY for the foreseeable future. I happen to also have a propensity to take 10x the notes I need on any given book/subject/idea/matter etc. To keep myself from doing even more than I've already got to do, I'm taking some words of wisdom from previous examinees and limiting my note taking to ONE VERY LARGE INDEX CARD per book. Which I will post (are you ready for this?) ONE TIME A DAY. And just to keep with the one-a-day-keeps-the-examiners-at-bay theme... each index card will be accompanied by ONE PITHY STATEMENT that wraps up the day's selection.

18th July 2011

Photo with 49 notes

Charlotte M. Canning, The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (2005)
Pithy one sentence summary: 
Once one of the most popular entertainment forms but now nearly forgotten, in the early 20th century Circuit Chautauquas offered rural audiences the means to edify, entertain, educate, and enlarge their cultural horizons; as a performance form they functioned by disavowing their own theatricality (until 1913) in the process of reflecting back “American” values (especially the value of citizenship).
Pithy three sentence critique:
At the level of sheer information, a good read. At the level of interpretation, there’s much to be desired. Did the Chautauqua model overrun the writing of this book? 

Charlotte M. Canning, The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (2005)

Pithy one sentence summary: 

Once one of the most popular entertainment forms but now nearly forgotten, in the early 20th century Circuit Chautauquas offered rural audiences the means to edify, entertain, educate, and enlarge their cultural horizons; as a performance form they functioned by disavowing their own theatricality (until 1913) in the process of reflecting back “American” values (especially the value of citizenship).

Pithy three sentence critique:

At the level of sheer information, a good read. At the level of interpretation, there’s much to be desired. Did the Chautauqua model overrun the writing of this book? 

Tagged: Charlotte CanningChautauquaField 3The Most American Thing in Americacitizenshiplecturesperformanceruraltheatricalityvaudevillemateriality

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