Promise, Reality, and Potential of America's Cultural Diversity: Evidence from History, Literature and Film
Coming in 2023. Published by Peter Lang International Publisher.
“Whether you’re a student trying to expand your understanding of the American experience, an educator seeking to gain valuable knowledge and insight to share with your class, or just a curious person who wishes to delve deeply into the amazing American experiment, you will be transformed by this text.” Elisa Shore, Professor, English as a Second Language, City College of San Francisco.
“Using the pleasurable means of literature and film, this book offers an honest and probing analysis of America’s collective psyche and its rich cultural mosaic…Its interesting and relevant content supports the notion that another world of social justice and peaceful coexistence is possible.” Allan Fisher, Professor, English as a Second Language, City College of San Francisco.
“Having grown up in the United States and educated my whole life about it, I thought I was intimately familiar with “American cultures.” However, after taking Professor Jabbar’s class, reading the compiled materials in his book, and watching the linked videos, I realized how much I’d missed. The book opened my eyes and understanding to the panoply of cultures—their histories, struggles, and contributions—that makes this country resilient and exceptionally great. I highly recommend one and all exploring the whole nation with Professor Jabbar as trusted and informed navigator.” Jenny Hammer, Professor (retd.), English as a Second Language, City College of San Francisco, Author, Albert Drosoph’s Field Guide to Punctuation
"Dr. Jabbar has assembled a rich collection that embraces the diverse people, experiences and cultural traditions that make up the great American experiment. He weaves together a wonderful mosaic of stories, films and essays that cover the breadth of the many Americas that exist, offering a variety of extraordinary voices and unique perspectives. Thought provoking and enlightening." Kim Tally, Writer, Editor and Journalist.
I cherish and learn from my students’ comments on my teaching. Here are some of their views on the literary selections and movies in the reader for my interdisciplinary studies class on American Cultures in Literature and Film. That reader is now been made into this book.
“Professor Abdul Jabbar:
I just wanted to drop you a small note to let you know how much I really enjoyed and appreciated your class. Your choice of poems, short stories, articles and films was eye and mind opening. It was not at all what I expected. This class has inspired me to be a little more engaged and given the climate we now find ourselves in I welcome that. Keep teaching and challenging your students.— Veronica Smith”
“Thank you so much for this incredible course. The materials are wonderful - I'll be holding on to this reader for my children to read (they're 5, 3, and 1 now).…
“Again, thank you for this course. It should be required at every university. I have a BA in international relations and a JD, and this is one of the best classes I've ever taken. It's been really hard to read a lot of the reading material--hearing it in the voices of the people who actually feel it is so powerful. But it is so worthwhile. Thank you!—Jennifer Stringfellow”
“Thank you for the learning and insight that your course fostered over the last few months. I was sometimes feeling rushed between work, school, and life taking its dues, but I thoroughly enjoyed your course. I felt engaged with the work and often found myself wearing the perspectives of our readings and themes of our discussions for days at a time, much like when a skillful work of fiction or film pulls you into its world and everything you see during the day becomes informed by the experience. In this case the perspective was also informed by the historical content.—Samuel Speas”
“School and grades and academia aside, I deeply admire your work. I was profoundly challenged by your course in ways that forced me to examine my own ingrained paradigms, preconceived notions that I didn't even know were a part of how I saw this life I'm existing in. In exploring these places in me, my worldview, my mind and, most importantly, my heart was expanded to planes I hadn't conceived of. For that, I am eternally grateful. Your offering to our world, in this course and your other work, is a gift. Thank you.—Victoria Robertson”
"In the literary world, there's no shortage of thought-provoking material. Unfortunately, most of that material is of very particular origin: straight, white men.…but where are the people of color? The LGBT voices?…I found the material [in this book] refreshing in its relevance and diversity of voices and attitudes. It's an unflinching look at lives of people who would otherwise be ignored, and therefore an essential read not only to the growing writer, but the average American." Abigail Kelly, novelist and author of Knitbone.”
“In the class reader (now being made into a regular book), I appreciated the mix of prose, poetry, fiction and non-fiction from a diverse variety of authors and sources, both noted and obscure. Additionally, I especially appreciated that the works were thoughtfully chosen, and presented views both uncommon and uncommonly fair. For example, very few people care about presenting both sides of the Jewish and Arab issue, and fewer still include works by Black men sympathetic to poor Whites. As a mixed person, I took great pleasure in that—Anonymous