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What Middletown Read: Print Culture in an American Small City is now in print.  The book by Frank Felsenstein and James J. Connolly has been published by the University of Massachusetts Press.  The book is based on the Center’s What Middletown Read database and the entire project has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ball State University and the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation.  For more details and ordering information, go here.  Check back here for information about events related to the book’s release.

Work on Virtual Middletown, a three-dimensional digital recreation of Muncie, Indiana, during the 1920s and 1890s based on Robert and Helen Lynd’s Middletown: A Study in American Culture (1929), continues.  Working with IDIA and Doug Seefeldt of the History Department, we developed a 3D visualization of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders based on its appearance in Muncie in 1899.  The Wild West was an enormously popular touring show that drew large crowds at it traveled across the U.S. and Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  This project was funded by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Ball State University’s Advance program.  

Rich Usdowski and Warren Vander Hill have completed interviews for the Muncie High School Consolidation project.  The collection includes video recordings and transcripts of conversations with local residents and civic leaders about the decision to combine high schools in the city and its significance for the community.  The interviews can be found online here.  

Jim Connolly gave a series of lectures about Middletown-related topics at several Chinese universities during the summer of 2015.  He spoke about the What Middletown Read Project at East China Normal University (Shanghai), and about urban politics in the U.S. at Chongqing University and Shihezi University.  He gave the keynote address (entitled “Community Studies in the United States: A History") at the Peking University American Studies Conference in Beijing.     


Center for Middletown Studies
Bracken Library (BL), Room 203
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: 765-285-8037
Fax: 765-285-3571