Baldblogger (BB): If one were to visit Great Barrington today—what of Du Bois might one see
Amy Bass (AB): It depends on how well they look. There are signs, there are plaques, there is a mural, etc. [BB: see these images here.] But it is what you don't see that tells the bigger story. There is Muddy Brook Elementary School, which in 2004 had the promise of being named W.E.B. Du Bois Elementary School. There is a smal parking lot and a trail on the site of his childhood home, but not the reconstructed house or the small museum that was envisioned in 1968. And there is still the occasional venomous letter to the editor, if one picks up a local paper, that asks why such a figure is recognized at all.
BB: Discuss the book’s cover.
AB: It's a photo taken right after the site of Du Bois's childhood home was conferred a National Historic Landmark. It tells its own story: unremarkable sign, abandoned property, descending fog. Rather gothic, I thought, and I'm incredibly pleased that my publisher agreed.
BB: Readers may or may not know you are a scholar and analyst of more recent Olympic games as well. [Read about it here, here, and here.] I wonder if you might discuss this work, and what’s in store for Vancouver.
AB: Yes, I've been a research consultant for NBC since Atlanta, 1996. It obviously is a position that was attached to my dissertation project on the Mexico City Games, and then my first book. But now it is just something that I have rare expertise in, so the relationship has continued. As for Vancouver? Winter Games are quirky things -- just about anything can happen when cold, wind, ice, and snow are involved.
BB: What projects are currently in the works? What can readers expect to see from the pen of Dr. Amy Bass in the future?
AB: Oh, I have no idea. I continue to write most frequently for Morphizm.com, which is a fantastic outlet for random thoughts. My most recent fixations there have been mostly about sports -- Tiger, Beckham, etc. And there's a few things wandering in my head right now. But with Vancouver right around the corner, most of my head is fixed on the Olympics.