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 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 learn about Reading Frederick Douglass, a statewide initiative led by Mass Humanities. Communities and organizations around the state typically organize public readings of Douglass' speech, "What is the Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro." We are joined today by Manisha Sinha, Professor of Afro-American Studies at University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Rose Sackey-Milligan, Program Officer at Mass Humanities. With them we explore the value of the humanities in enhancing and improving civic life.

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. 

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 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.

 Our Ideas Matter series allows us to check in with state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we’ll learn about Herencia Latina 2015-16, an nine month program featuring a multitude of films, exhibits, discussions, and festivals examining and celebrating Latino heritage in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts. The program is funded by Mass Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Library Association.

Our guests are Raul Gutierrez, Professor of Spanish at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Cliff McCarthy, President of the Pioneer Valley History Network.

  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 are talking with filmmaker Laurie Kahn about her new documentary, Love Between the Covers, a film about popular romance novels and the author-reader community that sustains the billion dollar popular romance fiction industry.

The film has garnered rave reviews at the Library of Congress as well as at film festivals around the country, most recently in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. It was funded both by Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Today in our Ideas Matter segment we check in with a program funded by a Mass Humanities grant, The Charlemont Forum, an annual series of panel discussions in Charlemont, Mass, that this year focuses on immigration history and policy.

We are joined by one of the panelists, David A. Martin, the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, and by the moderator, Charlemont Forum board member David Little.

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 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.

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment we check in with Mass Humanities to discuss an online Humanities resource, the American Antiquarian Society’s new collection exhibit, the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballad Project, or, as Thomas called it, “Verses in Vogue with the Vulgar.”

We are joined by Molly Hardy, ACLS Public Fellow and Digital Humanities Curator at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA, and project manager of the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballad project, and Pleun Bouricius, Director of Grants and Programs for Mass Humanities. With them, we will explore this online collection of popular music materials from the early 1800’s, including the use and reuse of popular tunes during the early nineteenth century, which, we as we learned this week from the Pharrell Williams/Marvin Gaye trail outcome, would be seen as plagiarism today.

  

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

Today we are talking with Pleun Bouricius, Director of Programs for Mass Humanities, about Laurie Kahn's forthcoming documentary, Love Between the Covers, a film about popular romance novels and the author-reader community that sustains the billion dollar popular romance fiction industry.

The film was funded both by Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. With them, we will explore what motivated them to fund and explore this topic, which which has raised some hackles in conservative circles, but also garnered rave reviews at its sneak preview at the Library of Congress.

  

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

Today we check in with Mass Humanities to find out about the Disability History Museum, an online resource and archive that focuses on the history of disability and disability policy in the United States.

We are joined by Laurie Block, founder of the DHM, and Pleun Bouricius, Director of Grants and Programs for Mass Humanities. With them, we will explore the value and creation of online digital humanities resources, as well as this amazing collection of materials on the history of disability.

  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with MASS Humanities and learn about “Literature, Medicine and the Experience of War” - a six-month, scholar-led, humanities reading and discussion program for health professionals and staff in medical facilities administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and/or veterans and military service organizations.

Mass Humanities

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Mass Humanities is hosting community film and discussion events across the commonwealth. The program is entitled Created Equal: Conversations on the American Social Contract. Planned with the help of 12 area organizations, the third in the four-part series will be held at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield on Thursday. It begins at 7 p.m. The events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

This week in our Ideas Matter segment, we feature MASS Humanities and are joined by Harley Erdman, Professor of Theater at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her new play, Nobody's Girl, will have its premiere at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA on October 17th and is based on real events that occurred at the Academy of Music in the early 1940s.

   In our series, Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities we visit with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area and discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we welcome the folks from Mass Humanities to discuss – Frankenstein! Linda McInerney joins us. As Artistic Director of Old Deerfield Productions, Linda has been creating, producing, and directing performing arts for 30 years. In 2013, she commissioned a new theatrical adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (adaptation by Lindel Hart) that will be performed at the Springfield Museums, thanks to Mass Humanities, on Sept. 26 and 27.

  Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we welcome the folks from Mass Humanities to discuss the importance of reading on the occasion of The New Yorker taking its pay wall down.

As we have discussed over the past two days - civility is about more than just politeness. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. In our previous segments, we explored how we sometimes succeed and often fail at civility.

In our final installment – we present: Civility: An Exercise in Getting Along. We welcome two scholars for an in-depth panel discussion to discuss what the beginning steps are for improved civility in our politics, discourse and search for common ground. We are opening our phone lines for your perspective.

Let me introduce our two special guests: Austin Sarat is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Chair of Political Science at Amherst College. We also welcome David Smith - the John W. Chandler Professor of English at Williams College. Welcome to you both.

  As we explore, this morning, the issues of tolerance and the language of civility and what we expect of others in return for our civility, we speak with Randall R. Kennedy, the Michael Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches courses on contracts, freedom of expression, and the regulation of race relations.

He addresses that simple question from Rodney King – why can’t we all get along?


    On April 25, of this year, TMZ Sports released a recording of a conversation between Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and a female friend. In the recording from September 2013, a man confirmed to be Sterling was irritated over a photo the woman had posted on Instagram, in which she posed with Basketball Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson.

Sterling was banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million by the league after the recordings were made public. That incident played in the background over the past two months as we talked with scholars and citizens for this project. It came up time and time again. So much so, we wanted to explore the role civility has with this nation’s sports culture.

Facebook: North Adams Public Library

In the second part of our dive into civility, WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis asked people at the North Adams Public Library how they see civility in their world.

  An outspoken centrist, Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe stunned Washington in February 2012 when she announced she would not seek a fourth term and offered a sharp rebuke to the Senate, citing the dispiriting gridlock and polarization. After serving in the legislative branch at the state and federal levels for 40 years, including 18 years in the U.S. Senate, she explained that Washington wasn’t solving the big problems anymore. Incivility had taken its toll.

Since leaving the Senate, she has written a book: Fighting for Common Ground. After such a long Government career, I asked her how congress has come to such a standstill and why she wanted out.

  In putting together a series on civility, we learned it is rather easy to find examples of incivility. There is always a sound bite available of somebody yelling about something. Finding an example of civility in action is more difficult. It exists – but sometimes - because it is understated or even hard-wired into us – we tend to overlook it. So for an example of civility, I kept on thinking of Robert Fulguhm’s 1988 poem - "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten."


  A specialist in American public opinion, voting behavior and city politics, Doug Muzzio has had extensive political, governmental, and media experience. He is founder, former director and current chief pollster at Baruch College Survey Research at CUNY.

Agreeing to Disagree: Civility in Public Discourse is funded in part by MASS Humanities.

    The perceived breakdown of civility has in recent years become a national obsession, and our modern climate of boorishness has cultivated a host of etiquette watchdogs, like Miss Manners and Martha Stewart, who defend us against an onslaught of nastiness.  

Touching on aspects of both our public and private lives, including work, family, and sex, literary and social critic and Professor of English at Fordham University, Mark Caldwell, has spent many years examining how the rules of behavior inevitably change and explains why, no matter how hard we try, we can never return to a golden era of civilized manners and mores. He is the author of the book: A Short History of Rudeness. He says, through his research, he has ultimately concluded – that this is all cyclical.

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