Preliminary quiz in lead-up to 2020 Bastille Day Quiz. Question: 2019-20 was a year particularly rich in material for those who study revolutions, populism, and crowd behavior. Which factor contributed?
- the spectacular rise of #BLM, the Black Lives Matter movement
- the global onslaught of COVID-19
- Teaching Representations of the French Revolution was published at last
- an “autonomous zone” named CHAZ was created in the heart of Seattle, WA.
Answer: All of the above. The photo captures our moment: a teddy bear wears a face mask, behind shocking headlines arranged alongside a call for reparations to the Black community for the centuries of hardship caused by slavery. “Seattle Protests” face masks drive a fund-raiser for the ACLU. A new guide to the French Revolution aims to illuminate some of the historical precedents to such upheaval.
- The spectacular rise of #BLM, the Black Lives Matter movement, is unprecedented and seems to be reaching different demographics than before—many of the marchers are whites who seek to hasten the end of systemic racism. As the Pew Research Center announced on June 12, “Amid protests, majorities across racial and ethnic groups express support for the Black Lives Matter Movement.”
Our efforts include this stylish 100% cotton face mask called “Seattle Protests”: it honors the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest marches in my hometown and 50% of the proceeds will go to the ACLU for their help with anti-racist, #BLM legislation. Supplies limited so purchase yours today!
- the impact of COVID-19 on people’s health and well-being, since the outbreak in January 2020 until the present day (seven months later), should be obvious to anyone with a pulse. The way it has impacted cultural attitudes is seen in The Week cover article of June 26, “Covid cases surge as ‘pandemic fatigue’ drives high risk behavior,” and the many images of President Trump surrounded by other men in suits, all of whom are wearing masks. (Ironically, the photo below one captures Trump touring a PPE distribution center.)
- After more than seven years of work, we were thrilled to see Teaching Representations of the French Revolution published last summer. It is a beautiful book and the reviews are excellent! Not only an invaluable guide for teachers, says one critic, “it is also an excellent read for its own sake” (The French Review, 93.4, 2020, review by Jessica L. Sturm). The 11th Annual Bastille Day quiz will draw on every chapter of this book to cover our ambitious “Around the World” theme.
- The sad end of Seattle’s own experiment in revolutionary action came to light on July 1, when the Mayor officially declared it over and police re-entered the section of Capitol Hill which had been occupied by protesters (and trouble-makers unrelated to the anti-police brutality activism) since June 8, 2020. The situation remains uncertain today, July 3, 2020, as a city council member calls for the mayor’s resignation and more arrests are made, as citizens refuse to disperse. For a snapshot see this recent article from the local news.
Well, that should suffice! We certainly live in interesting times. See you in 11 days for the exciting quiz!