Ethnic Studies

English, Swedish and Dutch Colonists Meet the Indians of Southern New Jersey: The Historical and Archaeological Evidence

The lives of the early traders and colonists who came to southern New Jersey, whether Dutch, Swedish or English, were closely tied to the “original people” who had been here for thousands of years. How these peoples interacted in the 17th century, and what changes took place in each of their cultures, are revealed by recent historical and archaeological studies. This slide-illustrated lecture looks at these interactions which set the stage for the development of the State and also for the migration of some American Indians west into Pennsylvania.

Marshall J. Becker, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania

A computer projector is required for this program.

Living and Laughing by The Chopsticks-Fork Principle

With good humor participants are encouraged to realize, understand, and laugh about (!) how we all are at least bi-cultural (by ethnicity, gender, etc.) in a way that shatters stereotypes but explains the generalizations. Examining personal stories about ordinary events, extraordinary cultural questions are raised – like: Can the Tooth Fairy survive the Melting Pot? Can a Confucian have an Identity Crisis without a sub-conscious? Can a “success” in one culture mean “failure” in another? The “chopsticks-fork answers” are embedded in being a Chinese-American who then raised an American-Chinese.

Cathy Bao Bean
Author, Educational Consultant, retired philosophy professor

The Literature of Italian American Women

A lecture on the emergence of the literature of Italian American women in multiple contexts, from the history of immigration and the labor movement to the feminist movement and multiculturalism.

Edvige Giunta
Professor of English, New Jersey City University

Program available in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Union counties.

Strangers in Suburbia: Race, Class and Ethnicity in Suburban Motion Pictures

This presentation contrasts the mainstream Hollywood image of suburbia – a privileged environment for upper-middle and upper-class Americans – with those few films dealing with blue collar families, white ethnic groups, and Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans. In addition, the discussion examines why filmmakers’ favorite suburban “outsiders” are creatures such as E.T.

Philip C. Dolce, Ph.D.
Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Professor of History at Bergen Community College

Program available in Bergen county. This program requires a computer projector.

Ethnicity in America

An examination of how various ethnic groups struggle to become American while simultaneously maintaining their identity and integrity. How the “melting pot” as a metaphor describing American life has been replaced by the “salad bowl” or “the mosaic.” A look at the extraordinary diversity of the country that has sometimes been called “the United Nations in miniature.”

Michael Aaron Rockland, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of American Studies, Rutgers University

Program generally available in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties; other counties are available with speaker’s consideration. Este programa está disponible en español.

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