The Public Humanist

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Freedom Is Not Free: Examining the Abolition Process in Zanzibar

Zanzibar's Stone Town was host to one of the world's last open slave markets, now memorialized by this artwork that utilizes original slave chains.

In challenging the notion of abolition as the final chapter in a history of slavery, we illuminate the lives of those on the periphery of history whose stories and experiences often go unnoticed.

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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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Tu B’Shvat in the Anthropocene: Teshuva with the Earth

An almond tree in blossom near Urueña in Valladolid, Spain, during Tu BiShvat. Photo by Nicolás Pérez.

Is it time to apply the Jewish practice of teshuva to environmentalism?

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A Scientific Sea Change? What the Humanities Offer Environmental Science in the Anthropocene

A sample of plastiglomerate, collected on Kamilo Beach in Hawaii.

How might the sciences and the humanities converge in a geologic era marked by human activity?

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Time for a Tree and a Rope

Jim Crow is again in the news and in the media on a regular basis, with recent sightings on state judicial and educational perches.

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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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Are You Ladies Alone?

Marriage

The recent trend in women choosing to marry late (or not at all) is as liberating as any movement, suffrage or sexual.

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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.

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What is a Terrorist?: Modern War

Guy Fawkes, caught in an attempted bombing, proclaimed that declared that “a dangerous disease required a desperate remedy,” evincing the asymmetry of power and terrorism.

Terrorism may be modern warfare’s brutal apotheosis; a simple strategy in an asymmetrical environment.

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