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.
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.
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.
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.