humanities

Today in our Ideas Matter segment we check in with Mass Humanities and learn about the Earthcare Festival at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts. The Festival—on September 9th, 10th, and 11th—marks the beginning of the newly created Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts.

Events during the Festival weekend will explore the human relationship to nature and will feature a series of in-depth talks by nationally known figures in forest ecology, sustainability, and environmental writing, as well as poetry readings, music, and a one-woman play.

We are joined by David Perkins, founder of the Hilltown Chautaqua, and by Lauret Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies, who will be participating in the Earthcare Festival.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will talk about some of the issues that shape misperceptions of Muslims in the United States, and about the “Dialogues Across Divides” series about these issues taking place this fall throughout Western Massachusetts and supported by Mass Humanities.

We are joined today by Mehlaqa Samdani, executive director of Critical Connections, the nonprofit organizing the dialogues in partnership with the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. The first event will take place on September 15th in Longmeadow, MA, and will address different kinds and causes of violent extremism in the United States; the second event is on September 28th in Amherst, MA, and will tackle Islam and homosexuality.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we check in with Connecticut Humanities to discuss why poetry is important in today's society. Does teaching poetry in our schools really matter in this era of STEM and standardized testing?

We are joined today by Scott Wands, Manager of Grants at Connecticut Humanities who manages Poetry Out Loud in Connecticut, and Susan Ballek, Executive Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT, home of the long running Sunken Garden Poetry Festival program.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're checking in with the New York Council about the topic of one of their Democracy in Dialogue Town Halls. This event will be held this Tuesday at The Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, and will address issues related to gender-based workplace discrimination - including questions of unconscious bias, the history of workplace inequality, and how the skills of the humanities can address these issues.

We are joined by Sara Ogger, executive director of the New York Council for the Humanities, Barbara Smith, one of our frequent guests and a panelist at the event.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about the political impact of millennials and about a public lecture happening in August in Charlemont, MA, on the profound demographic transformation happening today, as characterized by the Millennial and Boomer generations.

We are joined today by Pam Porter, of The Charlemont Forum, and by Paul Taylor, who is the former Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Institute and the author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown Paul will be speaking at the Charlemont Forum in Charlemont, MA, on Wednesday, August 10th. 

Havana
Mark Williamston / Getty Images

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about the uncertainties facing Cuba’s young people in 2016, and about a public lecture happening next week in Charlemont, Massachusetts on Cuban immigration and on the recent rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba.

Peter Purdy of the Charlemont Forum joins us this morning. Also here is Carlos Eire, the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of Religion and History at Yale University and the author of Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy. Carlos will be speaking at The Charlemont Forum in Charlemont, MA, on Wednesday, June 22nd. The speech is entitled: “Migration, Resistance or Reform: Cuba’s Uncertain Future." 

   In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're talking with Lawrie Balfour, professor of political science at the University of Virginia, and Michael Washburn, director of the programs at the New York Council for the Humanities, about the writer James Baldwin. Baldwin's work is a powerful lens through which to view the country's current moment of social and racial tension. Balfour and Washburn have created a new Baldwin-related theme for the Council's Reading and Discussion program, and today we'll be talking about Baldwin's value to our contemporary world as well as the new program.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're speaking with Edward Paulino, one of the New York Council for the Humanities’ Public Scholars and an assistant professor of history at John Jay College about the history of bearing witness to what is often unspeakable violence. In his recent book, Dividing Hispanola, he details the 20th century history of one of the world's bloodiest borders, that between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Mimi Sheraton
Noah Fecks

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're speaking with Mimi Sheraton about food - the ethics of food, the idea of fad diets, and how to eat responsibly.

Mimi Sheraton is a noted food and restaurant critic. She is also a board member for The New York Council for the Humanities and she served as the scholar advisor on the Council's new "Food Fight" Reading & Discussion series.

In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about the Clemente Course in the Humanities, which is a program that offers free, college-level seminars in literature, US history, moral philosophy, art history, and writing to adults living in poverty.  The Clemente Course has been offered in ten states - including Massachusetts and New York, as well as in Canada, and Mexico.

We are joined today by Ousmane Power-Greene, Associate Professor of History at Clark University and Instructor of US History at the Clemente Course in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Worcester, Massachusetts, and David Tebaldi, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. 

In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're going to speak with Anne Mosher and learn about engaged place-making and the process of what she calls “urban acupuncture," -- how sketch mapping a community can bring out deeply buried memories about places, and do so in a targeted way.

Anne Mosher about is associate professor of geography at Syracuse University and New York Council for the Humanities Public Scholar.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we're discussing the long and colorful history of American crime writing. Our guest is Harold Schecter, professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, and the editor of the Library of America's True Crime volume. A writer of true crime fiction himself, Harold recently served as the scholar-advisor for the New York Council's new Reading and Discussion series "True Crime an American Genre."

Air & Space Magazine

In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we'll be joined by Neil Maher, who will discuss with us a little known dimension of both the space program and the political movements of the 1960s. Neil serves as one of the New York Council for the Humanities' public scholars.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about a website called “What’s the Big Idea?” which holds a curriculum for teaching middle-school students about philosophy—big ideas—through film. The curriculum, created in 2013 and funded in part by Mass Humanities, features film clips and introductory philosophy lessons, with a goal of helping students learn how to have in-depth, civil discussions about topics that are important to them and that are actually philosophical in nature. Issues covered are rooted in ethics and include: bullying, lying, friendship, peer pressure, and environmental ethics.

We are joined today by Tom Wartenberg, professor of philosophy at Mount Holyoke College, who co-created “What’s the Big Idea?” with filmmaker Julie Akeret. Tom joins us now to tell us about how and why he and Julie created the website, as well as how the curriculum is being used and CAN be used in classrooms.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about an upcoming museum exhibit: “Nuestras Abuelas de Holyoke: Empowerment and Legacy,” which is a photography and bilingual text exhibition at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The exhibit—opening on March 5th and funded by Mass Humanities—features stories of Latina grandmothers as shared by their grandchildren in Holyoke community and draws attention to issues of family, gender expectations, stories of migration, and understandings of home.

We are joined today by Penni Martorell, curator of collections at Wistariahurst Museum and Holyoke’s City Historian, and by Waleska Santiago, the guest curator at Wistariahurst who has put together the “Nuestras Abuelas” exhibit.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council and documentary film producer Jeff Kaufman. Kaufman directed The State of Marriage, which shows the struggle for same-sex marriage equality in Vermont.

The film will be screened with a special panel discussion in Montpelier, Vermont on February 23.

Illustration by ALEXIS BEAUCLAIR
Alexis Beauclair

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

This week we check in with the New York Council for the Humanities to learn about the practice and process of editorial illustration.

Alexandra Zsigmond is the art director of the New York Times Sunday Review, and we're going to speak with her about how politics and history are represented in editorial art. In addition to her work at the Times, Alexandra is one of the New York Council for the Humanities’ new Public Scholars.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today, we will learn about Farm Values: Civic Agriculture at the Crossroads, a community project of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in Athol, Massachusetts.

The project focuses on the history of six farms in North-Central Massachusetts and culminates at the Public Library in Athol next Thursday, December 10.

We are joined by Cathy Stanton, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Tufts University, and Project Director of Farm Values, a project that was funded by Mass Humanities. She joins us to explore the value of examining what we think we know about the history of agriculture in the Northeast and why it is important to understand the history of individual farms.

  In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we are talking with Pleun Bouricius, director of Grants and Programs at Mass Humanities, about the art of and need for public discussion and conversation of topics we do not agree on, like immigration or the role of religion in public life, and Mass Humanities’ new Common Good Reads discussion grant program, funded by the Pulitzer Foundation.

  The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College is hosting its eighth annual international conference from Thursday, October 15 to Friday, October 16 on Bard’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus.

The two-day conference, “Why Privacy Matters,” asks: What do we lose when we lose our privacy? Reading on Kindles, searching Google, and using cell phones leave a data trail of intimate details. Governments and businesses track our comings, goings, and doings. The conference will include many knowledgeable speakers on the subject including (via satellite) NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden. 

Here are some questions to be answered: Why do we willfully participate in the loss of our privacy? How is it that we rarely register its loss? Do we simply value privacy less? It is time to ask why privacy matters? How can a right to privacy and a meaningful private life exist today?

We are joined by Roger Berkowitz and David Brin.

Roger Berkowitz is Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College and Associate Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights.

David Brin is an American scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has served as visiting scholar at NASA in Exobiology.

The Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY will present “Journey to the Son: A Celebration of Son House” from August 26 – August 29, 2015. The celebration is made possible in part through a grant from The New York Council for the Humanities.

The four-day festival weaves together music, theatre, film, audio recordings, storytelling and lectures to celebrate Rochester’s adopted son, Eddie “Son” House -- blues singer and guitarist who lived from 1902 to 1988.

Jenni Werner is the Literary Director and Resident Dramaturg at Geva Theatre Center and she joins us to tell us more.

It’s time for our weekly check-in with the humanities. In our Ideas Matter segment we learn about the work being done by the humanities councils in our seven state region.

Today we check in with MASS Humanities and learn about commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Juneteenth and the end of slavery in the United States.

Amilcar Shabazz is a Professor in the WEB DuBos Department of Afro-American Studies and Faculty Advisor for Diversity & Excellence in the Office of Chancellor at UMASS Amherst.

  

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council to talk about their program Standing Together: Veterans Book Groups. We are joined by Michael Heaney, a retired American History Professor, lawyer, and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In 1965 and 1966, he served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as an infantry platoon leader. Much of his post-war life has been devoted to working with combat veterans, and to writing, teaching, and leading discussions about war- and veteran-related matters. For 15 years, he led wilderness expedition courses for combat veterans, in a program jointly sponsored by Outward Bound and the Veterans Administration.

Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we are talking with John Sisko, Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Fellow in the Humanities and Social Sciences at The College of New Jersey, who has been co-directing a yearlong program exploring the topic of economic justice. The program is entitled Exploring Economic Justice: New Jersey, the Nation, and the World.

Dr. Sisko's project has been supported by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, which has allowed a number of political scientists, economists, philosophers, historians, and other humanities scholars, as well as local communities, to weigh in on the topic, leading to conversations, not only about our society's basic values, but also about the ways in which our norms and policies for determining the distribution of economic resources may impact and shape the long-term welfare of our society.

    

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we are talking with filmmaker Ian Cheney and Pleun Bouricius, Director of Grants and Programs for Mass Humanities, about this year's Massachusetts History Conference, which is called, “Chew on This: Presenting Food in Massachusetts Public History” and will take place on June 1 in Worcester, where Cheney s giving the keynote address.

With them, we will discuss Cheney's new documentary, The Search for General Tso, which was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The film is about the importance and excitement of learning to understand where our food comes from and how it got to the shelf.

  It’s time now for our weekly feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

Today we’ll discuss active use and re-use of historical sites – specifically Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondack Mountains. Joining us is Garet Livermore, executive director of Great Camp Sagamore, which simultaneously celebrates its historical heritage while remaining in active use. Balancing these two presents a unique challenge in the maintenance and conceptualizing of a historical site.

  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

One hundred fifty years ago this coming week was a ceremony that most Americans believe ended the Civil War - the surrender agreement at Appomattox Court House. What is wrong with the way we understand that event and the end of the war?

Greg Downs, Gregory Downs is an Associate Professor at the City College & Graduate Center, CUNY, and is the author of the just-published After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War, is here to tell us.

  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

Today we check in with the Vermont Humanities Council and a speaker in their First Wednesdays lecture series. Dr. Edward Tick, director of the Soldier’s Heart Clinic, will be talking about "The Human face of War: Combat, Healing, and the Humanities" on Wednesday, April 1 at 7pm at the Goodrich Memorial Library in Newport, Vermont. Dr. Tick explores the inner world of combat, the universal dimensions of veterans’ wounding, and a philosophy of healing combat’s consequences—recognizing that while war most directly affects veterans, it wounds us all.

Dr. Edward Tick joins us now along with Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications for Vermont Humanities.

We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

Today we'll be talking about the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony in Woodstock, New York, the role it played in the arts and crafts movement in upstate New York, and plans to develop an app for visitors and history enthusiasts around the site.

We're joined by Thomas A. Guiler is a PhD Candidate in American History in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Thomas is also the curator and project manager for UpstateHistorical which uses smart phone and GPS technology to provide walking tours and public history infrastructure to key locales across Upstate New York with audio, visual, and textual accompaniment.

The project is made possible in part through a grant from The New York Council for the Humanities.

  It’s the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. But, according to our next guest, during the last twenty-five years we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge.

Harvard University Public Policy Professor, Robert Putnam, says Americans have believed in the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Putnam says this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.

His new book is: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Robert Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. Nationally honored as a leading humanist and a renowned scientist, he has written fourteen books and has consulted for the last four US Presidents.

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