Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Understanding Identity in #2016

New York Times Critic at Large, Wesley Morris, labels 2015 as the "year we obsessed over identity." Morris writes:

[We are] in the midst of a great cultural identity migration. Gender roles are merging. Races are being shed. In the last six years or so, but especially in 2015, we’ve been made to see how trans and bi and poly-ambi-omni- we are.  

Morris cites certain cultural examples like Lin Manuel-Miranda's race-flipped historical-musical Hamilton, the success of Transparent, a show focused on a transgender woman and her family, and Amy Schumer's feminist comedy, where she bends conceptions of womanhood, sex, and femininity, as examples of the ways in which our traditional conceptions of identity are shifting. There are, of course, critics of this new age of identity, who express fear that a change in identity politics will contribute to the demise of traditional values. Morris places Presidential Donald Trump in the center of this criticism, arguing that his campaign is built around fear over impending changes to traditional social order. Morris ultimately writes that these transitions in identity "should make us stronger" unless "they kill us first." 

As 2016 begins, how do you think identity will shape and inform the events of the year? We will be equally "obsessed" as in 2015? When Morris writes that our new understandings of identity will "make us stronger" what do you think he means? Let us know in the comments, below.    


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