Brueggemann, Sarah. “Highlight of summer.” Coastal Living. Vol. 9, June 2005: 120-23.
This article, with brilliantly-colored photography by Sara Gray, reveals a modern day ritual of “porch-lighting” on Martha’s Vineyard. As far back as 1869, when hundreds of silk lanterns were hung from porches to honor the visiting governor, the tradition of lantern-hanging from porches continues. The festival is now called “Illumination Night.” For future dates and to plan a trip, email mvcma.org or phone 508/693-0525.
Dolan, Michael. The American Porch: An Informal History of an Informal Place.
Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2002.
Dolan begins with the various theories of how the American porch got its foothold in this country. From there, he narrates with light humor (and a few typos) the rise, fall, and rise again of the porch. He takes a fairly comprehensive look at the mediums that used the porch to signify American values, starting with the “front porch PresidentMcKinley, and how the porch became part of the American consciousness through film..
Frost, Robert. “The Death of the Hired Man.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost. New
York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1949.
This book contains most of Frost’s most powerful poetry.
Goody, Jack. “Oral Culture.” Folklore, Cultural Performances and Popular
A Communications-centered Handbook
. Ed. Richard Bauman. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
This handbook is an excellent resource for teachers who are preparing Honors or Advanced Placement courses. It lays the groundwork for students who want to go deeper into cultural performance.
Hall, Edward T. The Silent Language. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1980.
Of interest to this unit is chapter 10: “Space Speaks.” Hall covers the territoriality of humans as mammals and as social creatures. How children learn to recognize and define space is culturally defined; for example, “An American child requires between six and seven years before he has begun to master the basic concepts of place.” Hall sweeps his eye over cultures ranging from the army to school to other countries. His writing is informative, engaging, and would make a wonderful resource for extra credit projects.
Hayden, Dolores. The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge,
Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1995.
Dr. Hayden covers the complex topic of the public versus the private needs for space and place; she then explains the impact of public policy on individual and social identity by using global and individual case studies. Students will easily be enthralled by the story of Biddy Mason in the chapter “Rediscovering an African American Homestead.” Each chapter could be a unit in itself in a variety of disciplines.
. American Yard: Poems by Dolores Hayden. David Robert Brooks: OH, 2004.
Perfectly crafted formal and free verse poems capture the American experience thatbecause of the tight use of metaphors and accessible languagestudents will recognize as the human experience.
Hibbitts, Bernard J. (1995). “Making Motions: The Embodiment of Law in Gesture.”
Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 6:51-81. U. of San Diego School of Law.
An excellent source for definitions; further, Hibbitts studies the political, social, and economic functions of gestures.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. Perennial Classics: New York,
This novel captures with poetic genius the community of Eatonville, the first Afro-American town in the United States. Modeled on Hurston’s own life and desires, the novel carries its audience full circle from a coming-of-age story to a story of self-realization and self-acceptance.
Koethe, John. Falling Water: poems. HarperPerennial: New York, 1997.
Pearson, Michael Parker. (1984). “Mortuary practices, society, and ideology: an
ethnoarchaeological study.” Symbolic and Structural Archaeology. Ed. Ian Hodder.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 99-113.
An excellent source for definitions; further, Pearson studies belief systems and their influence on a culture’s ideology.
Price, Reynolds, ed. Out on the Porch: an Evocation in Words and Pictures. New York:
Algonquin Books, 1992.
If you use no other book, Price’s photographs of porches used with literary excerpts are priceless (no pun intended). The introduction sets a tone and direction that can be used in full or segments can be lifted to compliment other key issues in your unit.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary: The Dictionary for the 21st Century. Fourth