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.

What the Public Humanities Can Mean for Immigrant Communities

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Nigerian basketball star Charles Okwandu on how the public humanities can help immigrants feel at home while honoring their nations’ histories and cultures.

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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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What Does Women’s History Month Mean to You?

We reached out to three women actively engaged in telling women’s stories, each of whose work is supported by a Mass Humanities grant, to get their thoughts on what Women’s History Month means to them. Enjoy!

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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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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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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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