The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

Global in (African) Nature: Great Zimbabwe and Kilwa Kisiwani

One of the many original passageways within the Hill Complex, where only the king, his advisors, and his invited guests were permitted.

Trading empires in Africa created a global network while Europe was still reeling from the Middle Ages. Great Zimbabwe is a testament to this neglected history and its ruins demonstrate the architectural and mercantile prowess of its previous inhabitants.

Read More...

The Kurdish Experiment: Mandates that Made the Middle East

Turkish nationalists demonstrate against the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Istanbul on September 8 ,2015. (AFP Photo/Ozan Kose)

Arab nationalism may deserve more credit for shaping the Middle East following World War 1 than it sometime receives—especially in the case of the Kurds.

Read More...

Turmoil: Syria as a French Mandate

French troops during the Franco-Syrian confict

Syria’s current strife can be traced back to 20th-century French rule, a failed experiment that ended with the ascendancy of the Assad family.

Read More...

Geometric Geopolitics: How Nations Were Made from a Fallen Empire

Map of Sykes-Picot Agreement

The important lesson we can learn from the fall and partitioning of the Ottoman Empire is that it was an unprecedented moment in history in which the Middle East, under the guidance of the West, embarked on a remarkable experiment.

Read More...

Arriving in the “Empire of Dreams”

Puerto Rican flags

As a contributor to the Herencia Latina series programming, City of Holyoke Councilor Jossie Valentin explores the significance of Puerto Rican migration through the story of her own arrival in western Massachusetts.

Read More...

The Pride of Springfield vs The Pride of the Lakota

Florentine Films/Hott Productions finished two films this year that, at first blush, would appear to have no connection at all.  One is SciTech Band: Pride of Springfield, a half-hour film about a band in Springfield, MA that has a profoundly positive effect on the graduation rates of a troubled high school.  The graduation rates for […]

Read More...

Latina/os in Turners Falls

Herencia Latina

On Thursday September 17th, around twenty-five people gathered at the Shea Theater in Turners Fall to watch episode six of Latino Americans, the six-hour, 3-part documentary that aired on PBS in spring 2013. Facilitator Mari Castañeda, Ph.D., reflects on the gathering.

Read More...

Crisis in Gaza: A Look to Quebecois History for Guidance

In 1763 Great Britain had won the Seven Years’ War against France. With the Treaty of Paris that followed, Britain maintained its American territories and all of Canada was surrendered by the French. This vast, newly-acquired area increased the size of British North America and the tiny island’s empire as a result. That is not to say, however, that Canada’s shift from France to Great Britain was an easy transaction.It was a precarious situation because of the social differences between the two powers.

Read More...