Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What is Bryant Simon reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Bryant Simon, a history professor and the director of American Studies at Temple University.

About Simon's scholarship:

Bryant Simon is professor of history and director of the American Studies program at Temple University in Philadelphia. Over the last year and half, he has visited over 300 Starbucks in eight countries and is currently working on a book to be published by Bloomsbury. This is not, however, just a study of Starbucks, but an exploration of American life both in the states and abroad in the 21st Century. His research explores the very desires of daily life as they are revealed on the comfy coaches and in the drive-thru of Starbucks. As he looks at what it means to consume Starbucks, he also investigates what Starbucks consumes of us - our labor, our landscapes, and our politics.

He is the author of A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Textile Workers, 1910-1948 (1998) and Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America (2004) as well as the Jumpin' Jim Crow': Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights (2000). His research on Atlantic City has earned awards from the Organization of American Historians, Urban History Association, and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Last year Ben McGrath reported in the The New Yorker on the Starbucks research project, about which one can learn more in this video.

Writers Read: Bryant Simon.

--Marshal Zeringue