Celebrating America: A Webinar Series from the NAS

National Association of Scholars

American education once emphasized the positive elements of our nation’s key people, places, and ideas. George Washington was faithful and “could not tell a lie.” Abraham Lincoln was “Honest Abe” and freed the slaves. American exceptionalism was counted as a positive vision, a patriotic love of country. This emphasis has faded in recent years, replaced by a pedagogy that teaches American values as outdated and American institutions as problematic. What would it look like if we taught American history, and other topics, from a positive perspective again, one aimed at building support for our national values, institutions, and history?

The National Association of Scholars is producing a series of virtual events meant to do just this. These events are intended to present a positive vision of America to students and the general public by engaging American history, literature, art, and culture, and presenting these in a dynamic way to listeners, with an eye to showcasing facets of America that make our nation truly exceptional.

Part of NAS's mission is to promote a positive vision for education: to offer alternatives, not just point out flaws. These webinars mark NAS’s ongoing efforts to provide exemplary educational content.

NAS will introduce new topics into the series over time. Our current active series are: 

American History, American Character The Great American Novel Series

American History, American Character

This series brings together scholars to examine pivotal moments in American history and what those moments can tell us about our national character. This series will run through the summer of 2022. You can see and register for upcoming events in the series below. Videos of past events can be found here.

Upcoming Events:

1820: The Missouri Compromise and its Legacy
July 6th at 2 pm ET

1823: The Monroe Doctrine and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy
July 20th at 2 pm ET

1800-1840: The Second Great Awakening
August 3rd at 2 pm ET

1833: Jacksonian America and the Age of the “Common Man”
August 17th at 2 pm ET

1848: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican American War
August 31 at 2 pm ET

1857: “Not a Citizen”: The Dred Scott Case
September 14th at 2 pm ET

1861-1865: The American Civil War
September 28th at 2 pm ET

1863: The Emancipation Proclamation
October 12th at 2 pm ET

1876: The Reconstruction Era
October 26th at 2 pm ET

1870-1900: The Gilded Age
November 9th at 2 pm ET

1898: Spanish American War
November 23rd at 2 pm ET

1914-1918: The Great War
December 7th at 2 pm ET

1918: The Progressive Era
December 16th at 2 pm ET

1920: Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, and the Jazz Age
January 4th at 2 pm ET

1929: The Great Depression
January 20th at 2 pm ET

1933: FDR, WPA, and the New Deal
February 1st at 2 pm ET

1945: World at War – America in WWII
February 15th at 2 pm ET

1955-1975: Quagmire – America in Vietnam
March 1st at 2 pm ET

1957-1975: The Competition of the Century – America and the Space Race
March 15th at 2 pm ET

1965: LBJ and the Great Society
March 29th at 2 pm ET

1989: The Fall of Communism
April 12th at 2 pm ET

The Great American Novel Series

This series looks at prominent works by American authors and what they have contributed to our national literature. This series will run through December of 2022. You can see and register for upcoming events in the series below. Videos of past events can be found here.

Upcoming Events:

Rip van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving)
August 10th at 2 pm ET

Twice-Told Tales (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
September 7th at 2 pm ET

Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
October 5th at 2 pm ET

The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
November 2nd at 2 pm ET

Got Tell It on the Mountain (James Baldwin)
December 12th at 2 pm ET

Gilead (Marilynne Robinson)
January 1st at 2 pm ET

Red Badge of Courage (Stephen James)
February 8th at 2 pm ET

The Turn of the Screw (Henry James)
March 8th at 2 pm ET

The Call of the Wild (Jack London)
April 5th at 2 pm ET

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
April 26th at 2 pm ET

Native Son (Richard Wright)
May 10th at 2 pm ET

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
May 24th at 2 pm ET

My Ántonia (Willa Cather)
June 7th at 2 pm ET

Hannah Coulter (Wendell Berry)
June 14th at 2 pm ET

As I Lay Dying (William Faulkner)
June 21st at 2 pm ET

The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
July 5th at 2 pm ET

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
July 19th at 2 pm ET

Huck Finn (Mark Twain)
August 2nd at 2 pm ET

Beloved (Toni Morrison)
August 16th at 2 pm ET

The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
August 30th at 2 pm ET

The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
September 13th at 2 pm ET

Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
September 27th at 2 pm ET

The Last of the Mohicans (James Fenimore Cooper)
October 11th at 2 pm ET

Typee (Herman Melville)
October 25th at 2 pm ET

The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway)
November 8th at 2 pm ET

The Fall of the House of Usher (Edgar Allen Poe)
November 15th at 2 pm ET

The Virginian (Owen Wister)
November 22nd at 2 pm ET

The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)
November 29th at 2 pm ET

The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler)
December 13th at 2 pm ET


Photo by Logan Roush on Unsplash

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