The Public Humanist

Our blog publishes the voices of many contributors who use the humanities to explore our world. Reader commentary is encouraged. Consider contributing – complete form. Editor Tim Binkert.

Literature as Resistance: María Nsué Angüé’s Ekomo

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

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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.

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Reflections on a Half-century of Teaching

One observation after fifty years spent observing historical trends: we live in perilous times.

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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.

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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.

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Rediscovering Middlebrow

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

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Patriotism as Civil Religion

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Is patriotism America’s civil religion? Is it, even, a means of reproducing inequality? Francesco Duina conducted in-depth interviews of the patriotic poor in Montana and Alabama, and came away with more questions than answers.

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Cemeteries as Classroom: An Untapped Resource

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Cemeteries are more than final resting places: they can serve as opportunities for students, historians, and community members to learn about history in new and interesting ways—especially in Massachusetts.

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Poor and Disillusioned in America

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Nine out of ten poor Americans are patriotic, despite facing very difficult circumstances. But not all are.

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King Philip’s War and the Cultural Landscape of Boston

King Philip’s War was a bloody conflict that involved every New England colony and all the peoples of the Algonquian nation, yet this history remains almost invisible in Boston. It may be time to recognize it.

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