Intellectual legacies of colonization play a powerful role in shaping how mainstream U.S. and global society has come to see Native Americans. Artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries – such as James Earle Fraser’s sculpture, “The End of the Trail” – have helped to create the image of Native Americans on horseback as representations most associated with Indigenous populations of North America. Type “Native American” into a search engine, and you’ll likely get many historical images of Great Plains Indians. In parts of Europe as well, the perception of Native Americans has been shaped in unique ways by authors like Karl May and the later movies based on his books. Without a doubt, our students’ perceptions about Native Americans are influenced by these fantasies and representations.
In order to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the – unfortunately not official – holiday of Mexican Americans in the United States, I’d like you to do the quiz and see how much you know about “la cultura chicana.”
Now that the national holidays of both Canada (July 1) and the United States (July 4) are upon us, it’s time to check how well you, our readers, know both countries. In my seminar, “Introducing North American Studies,” I’m always pleased with how much my students know about the States and, at the same time, shocked at how little they know about Canada. Let’s see if you fare better….
Download and enjoy the quiz – and don’t look at the answers yet!
We know that not all American English is the same: Southerners love to talk about sipping ‘coke’ while drinking a sprite; New Yorkers talk about their pie while eating at a pizzeria; and Bostonians love talking about plenty, but no one has understood them since the 1800s.
Surely these are the only three dialects in America, right?
Even though these dialects might not be as distinct as those of the British Isles, American English still has plenty of differences that are – as with almost every language – increasing. In fact, these variations are not always noticeable right away. An Iowan might not realize that newscasters are from somewhere else until they keep referring to ‘law-yers’ and not ‘loy-yers’.
So how do Americans really talk? In 2002, Professors Bert Vaux and Scott Golder set out to answer this question and developed a survey of over 120 questions in order to determine who pronounces what, how, and where.