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.

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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Poverty and American Pride

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Poor Americans are hurting, facing wage stagnation, worse social benefits and less social mobility than the citizens of many other industrialized countries. Yet they’re more patriotic than ever. Why?

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We Are All Racist: Using Storytelling to Overcome Implicit Bias

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How can we respond to the recent increase in racism? One way could be to acknowledge our shared implicit bias, then tell stories to help overcome it.

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Replacing Aristocracy with Democracy

Since the 1980s the wealthy in the US have steadily pulled away from the rest of the country while the other classes have stagnated. The works of Adam Smith and John Adams have some suggestions to help us democratize.

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Adam Smith & Fake News

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Misconceptions about the ideas of Adam Smith continue to this day. He never advocated an amoral free market economy, and knew that government would have to play a large role in protecting the weak against the strong.

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Why We Read Frederick Douglass Aloud

We reached out to five people actively engaged in organizing their community’s Reading Frederick Douglass event to get their thoughts on why we read his words aloud. Enjoy!

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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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