Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 5, September/October

A Digital Sampler
Inventions that were in their infancies or not yet imagined forty years ago have transformed how we store and transmit information. As digitization, CD-ROMs, and the Internet advanced, the Endowment supported the use of new technologies to promote progress...
A Roundup of Activities
Sponsored by the State Humanities CouncilsALABAMAA two-day symposium on the culture and history of the Alabama Choctaw will take place on September 23 and 24 at the Mowa Choctaw Center in Mount Vernon. The symposium will correspond with a festival featuring...
Celebrating Our 40th
On a sunny September morning forty years ago. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill creating the National Endowment for the Humanities and its sister agency, the Arts. The guest list was glittery: actor Gregory Peck, photographer Ansel Adams, the...
Democratizing Knowledge
"Houston, we have a problem." So went the subject line of a February 2000 e-mail written by a graduate student at the University of Maryland. She and another member of our team had identified an error in my work editing Writings by Susan Dickinson, the...
Exploring an Inhabited Country
To wrap up the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Newberry Library in Chicago has delved into its collections to find a fresh perspective for understanding this episode in history."What often gets lost in the story is that Lewis and...
Fearless and Free: CELEBRATING THE FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
This September the NEH celebrates its fortieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Endowment is printing in book form excerpts of the conversations that Chairman Bruce Cole has conducted in HUMANITIES about the nature of the humanities, from history...
Here's Looking at Casablanca
In the late 1960s, Casablanca used to play every semester during finals week at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. Harvard students would recite the dialog along with the characters, hiss and boo the Nazi general, and enthusiastically sing the "Marseillaise"...
In Focus: Humanities in the Nation's Capital
A BANNER HANGING OUTSIDE the headquarters of the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C., reminds Joy Austin of what she tries to accomplish every day. It says, "Transforming lives through the power of the humanities," the mission statement for the council."I...
Inventing the Landscape
Inventing the LandscapeEngland through Gainsborough's Eyes"I'm Sick of Portraits, and wish very much to take my Viol da Gamba and walk off to some sweet Village, where I can paint Landskips and enjoy the fag End of Life in quietness and ease."Thomas...
Keeping Connected: Humanities on the Air
Shishmaref, just south of the Arctic Circle, has no paved roads, television, or running water. The villagers keep connected with the rest of the state with a radio show sponsored by the Alaska Humanities Forum.Like a dozen other state humanities councils,...
Lords of Creation
Lords of CreationOrigins of the Sacred Maya KingshipAMONG THE ANCIENT MAYA, kings had sacred powers, which they used to intervene with ancestors and other deities to ensure abundant harvests. In the last twenty years archaeologists and anthropologists...
Mesoamerica Online
Forget the Pony Express.For a number of Guatemalan villages in the 1960s, the best postal service around was Nicholas Hopkins. Hopkins, then a University of Chicago graduate student, was traveling between towns to record different dialects of Chuj, the...
Milestones from Forty Years of NEH
1965Claibome Pell introduces a bill that creates the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities, President Johnson signs the bill on September 29, 1965.1966Barnaby C. Keeney becomes the first chaiman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.First...
Reading in the Age of Google(TM)
MODERN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BEGAN WHEN humans started storing language in physical media-scrolls, stone tablets, steles-that existed separately from their brains. By Plato's time in the fourth century BCE, writing was already thousands of years old...
Speaking across Generations: Cherokee Work to Save Their Language
"Language, more than anything else in a culture, encapsulates the philosophy, and the world view, and the patterns of thinking of the people," says Barbara Duncan, the education director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina.Today,...
Strangers in Strange Lands
Remembering the 1762 Cherokee Delegation to London"AS TO THE MANNERS OF THE INDIANS, I GRANT THEY HAVE been often represented, and yet I have never seen any account to my perfect satisfaction, " wrote Virginia lieutenant Henry Timberlake in his 1765...
The Book Scene
From a city's centennial celebration in the West to the longest running state book festival in the South, state humanities councils' fall book festivals present the written word with regional twists.The Vegas Valley Book Festival takes on a new role...
The Curious Creation of West Virginia
The Curious Creation of West VirginiaTHE CIVIL WAR DIVIDED A NATION, but it also divided a state. On April 22, 1861, five days after Virginia seceded from the United States, the northern and western counties of the state sent delegates to their own pro-Union...
Words. Words. Words
Two-and-a-half centuries after the publication of Samuel Johnson's landmark dictionary, a new critical edition illuminates his best intentions.As great figures of eighteenth-century English literature go, Samuel Johnson was something of a complainer....

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