The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

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

david tebaldi

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 silver Dodge Charger that killed Heather Hayer, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. in Charlottesville

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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Chaos is a Ladder: Why The European Union Must Survive

Over the past several years, the European Union’s stability and future have seemed uncertain. But given Europe’s two thousand-year history of cataclysmic war, should the idea of a consensual peace be so quickly discarded?

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Still They Persisted: What a 105 Year Old Strike in Lawrence, MA Can Teach Us About Organization and Social Change

Suggesting that the 1912 strike started in a flash over a wage cut diminishes the contributions of the laborers—mostly women and immigrants—who built unity out of diversity.

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Rhetorical Shifts: Economic Liberty

John Gast’s American Progress, an allegory of Manifest Destiny that was widely disseminated in chromolithographic prints in the late 1800s.

The meanings of welfare and liberty changed significantly from the revolutionary era to the present. How did Adam Smith’s ethically-based concept of liberty come to be replaced with a no-holds-barred free market?

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Thinking with Arendt about Massachusetts Ballot Question 2: Revaluing the “Public” in the Fight for Public Education

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This November, Massachusetts voters will be deciding whether to lift the cap on charter schools in the Commonwealth, begging the question of what advocates mean by the term “public.”

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