The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

Literature as Resistance: María Nsué Angüé’s Ekomo

Guinean writer María Nsué Angüé’s novel Ekomo explores the liminality of being in a moment of deep crisis.


Benét and Time Well Spent

You can’t read Stephen Vincent Benét without recognizing his faith in the promise of America. Catch up on this middlebrow writer well worth a re-read.


Literature as Resistance: The Works of Rosario Castellanos

Underrated and underread: the work of Mexican feminist writer Rosario Castellanos can be considered a literary act of resistance, a way of carving out a female space in public intellectual life.


Edna Ferber’s Cimarron

Middlebrow writer Edna Ferber’s 1929 novel Cimarron puts forward questions as relevant today as they were when the novel was first published.


Rediscovering Middlebrow


The work of 20th century middlebrow writers like Booth Tarkington is in danger of being forgotten. But it shouldn’t be.


The Fairy Tale Syndrome: Gender and Cultural Identity in Old Fables

The ancient fables encapsulated and codified gender archetypes arising as oral legends from the mists of time, yet much is missing in that narrative and not all of the aspects of the timeless tales serve us well in contemporary society.


Essays Old and New

In the later sixteenth century, about a century after the introduction of the print, Renaissance humanists evolved a novel literary genre, the Essay. The name itself was probably coined by the French thinker Michel de Montaigne. He felt he needed a written mode that would allow him to capture his own thoughts on an important subject, to test their validity, to speculate about their deeper meaning, and to accomplish all this in a fashion that both pleased his readers and instructed them.


Layered Time and the Force of Gravity in Frankenstein

Lindel Hart and Linda McInerney have been collaborating for two years on an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In the first year, they researched, imagined, and Lindel wrote. They spent endless hours on Linda’s couch dreaming out how the show might be put together; which characters, scenes, themes, and ideas were right for the stage and important for the story in this time. Over the months a play emerged. They recently offered a development performance of the first version of the play in Greenfield.


Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t

"Shakespeare? Ugh!" “I love Shakespeare myself, but my students hate just the mention of the name.” “How do I feel about teaching Shakespeare? Terrified.” “It’s the language that gets to me. If I don’t ‘get it’, how can I expect my students to?” No surprise that the above verbatim quotes are responses to my first question to high school English teachers attending a ‘Teaching Shakespeare’ workshop.