Posts tagged 09/23/2011
That Midwestern Smile

The students in my honors course here at UW-Madison, mostly from the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, were shocked and hurt by some things they learned in the class recently.  The focus of this honors section of my Psychology of Human Emotions course is “the smile.”  We are reading a textbook that summarizes very well psychological research on the topic.  But there is a twist.  The author is Polish, and he does not hold back when writing in English about what some Europeans believe is God’s truth – raw reality – about the American smile.  Here is what the (late) French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, has to say, for instance: 

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