The Public Humanist

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Poverty and American Pride

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Poor Americans are hurting, facing wage stagnation, worse social benefits and less social mobility than the citizens of many other industrialized countries. Yet they’re more patriotic than ever. Why?

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Replacing Aristocracy with Democracy

Since the 1980s the wealthy in the US have steadily pulled away from the rest of the country while the other classes have stagnated. The works of Adam Smith and John Adams have some suggestions to help us democratize.

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Adam Smith & Fake News

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Misconceptions about the ideas of Adam Smith continue to this day. He never advocated an amoral free market economy, and knew that government would have to play a large role in protecting the weak against the strong.

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Why We Read Frederick Douglass Aloud

We reached out to five people actively engaged in organizing their community’s Reading Frederick Douglass event to get their thoughts on why we read his words aloud. Enjoy!

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The Death of an Industry, But Not a Town

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Gardner was once the chair-making capital of the world but has now been virtually abandoned by industry. One Mass Humanities grantee is using the power of history to help people make sense of their situation, heal, and rebuild the community.

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I’m Retiring, but I’ve Never Had More Hope for the Future

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Departing Mass Humanities Executive Director David Tebaldi reflects on his career, the state of the country, and the future of the humanities–and offers a number of reasons to be optimistic.

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John Adams & Why Fake News is Nothing New

“Fake news” is all the rage at the moment, but failing to expose it for what it is can have serious consequences for democracy. Take, for example, a campaign scare tactic used in the 1800 Presidential election.

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A Great and Difficult Progressive: W.E.B. Du Bois of Massachusetts

Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Levering Lewis’s speech at the State House commemorating the 150th birthday of sociologist, philosopher, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois.

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Death in the Afternoon

The bravado shown by white supremacists in Charlottesville this week is supported by the symbols and images of manly Confederate heroes, the same ones that are memorialized in city landscapes and, soon, on popular television.

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Broadsheets, Live Tweets, and Television: Media in Culture and the World

The Public Humanist invites thoughtful contributions on the subject of media past, present, and future. What can we learn from or about media by basing inquiry in the humanities?

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