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McRae publishes pictorial history book
Friday, September 18, 2015

McRae publishes pictorial history book

Dr. Shannon McRae

Shannon McRae, professor of English and Coordinator of American Studies and Film Studies, recently published a pictorial history book about Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, two small adjacent cities in southwest Michigan.

The main focus of the book is the very different economic trajectories each city experienced after World War II through to the end of the 20th century.

Entitled “St. Joseph and Benton Harbor: Images of Modern America” and published by Arcadia Publishing, most of the images in the book come from community members themselves. The rest come from community history archives, public libraries, and Professor McRae's personal collection. She extensively researched local newspaper archives, as well as interviewed local historians and community members for the book.

Since the publication of the book in early June, McRae has given talks about her work in local bookstores, historical societies, and community organizations.

She noted that the archival research and collection of photographic images and oral histories from ordinary citizens and local historians has given her invaluable teaching material and new perspectives for the American Studies program.

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