Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 20, No. 6, November/December

Around the Nation
ARIZONA Gary Paul Nabhan, an ethnobotanist and MacArthur Fellow, delivers the annual Lorraine W. Frank Lecture in the Humanities on November 16. The lecture is named after the founding director of the Arizona Humanities Council and member of the National...
Burning History onto Celluloid: Steven Spielberg
FILMMAKER STEVEN SPIELBERG IS A MAN captivated by history. "I have a deep rooted fascination in the Second World War because my father fought in that war, and an interest in the Holocaust, because my parents spoke openly and freely about it. These were...
Civil Rights Narrator: Taylor Branch
IN MAY 1963, MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND young black protesters-many of them children-gathered at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. What was supposed to be a peaceful march against segregation turned violent after police used fire...
Hometown Humor: Garrison Keillor
MILLIONS OF RADIO LISTENERS LOOK forward to A Prairie Home Companion week after week. For the past twenty-five years, host Garrison Keillor has drawn them in with stories and songs and quips about home, family, Little-League, and church socials. That...
Kristina Valaitis Builds Roads for Humanities in Illinois
One of the things that we said we were going to do was be an advocate for the importance of the humanities at every level of education and throughout life," says Kristina Valaitis. Now the current executive director of the Illinois Humanities Council,...
Literary Notes: Reading around the Country
If you want to talk books, there are plenty of choices. Go online. Gather a group of like-minded friends. Sign up at a local libraries and bookstores. Turn on the radio. Several NEH-funded programs, including three that have projects running this fall,...
Making Germany Anew
GERMANY HAS CHANGED RAPIDLY since the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and is far different from the divided country we had known for decades. But reunification of East and West has not resulted in a cohesive and harmonious whole. After forty...
Mandarins, Merchants, and Revolutionaries: My Vietnamese Family
Growing up in Hanoi, Haiphong, and Saigon, I loved listening to the stories told by my parents and other relatives about their parents and grandparents. I found these tales fascinating- some funny, some tragic-but although I knew that they spoke of family...
Moments of Discovery
I knew that some ancestor of mine had come over from Ireland nearly two centuries ago and settled in the wilds of northern New York State. It didn't mean a lot to me. But a few years back, a cousin showed me a letter written by the daughter of this forebear,...
My History Is Ameria's History
The Endowment Launches a New Program to Share Our Stories SOME FORTY YEARS after her father became the last member of her family to emigrate to the United States, Julia Fong visited the Chinese Historical Society in San Francisco and became intrigued...
My History Is America's History
We have a new project at the National Endowment for the Humanities called "My History Is America's History." It says we all have a story to tell. Our grandparents told stories to our mothers. Our mothers told stories to us. And we have stories to tell...
One Family's Journey
... he came to the United States during the Civil War because he wanted to fight to help to free the slaves... A Conversation with ... Adele Logan Alexander When Adele Logan Alexander spoke recently with William R. Ferris, NEH Chairman, they talked about...
Reporting the World: Jim Lehrer
AMERICANS OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER the Nixon administration became acquainted with journalist Jim Lehrer during the Watergate scandal. His face, his voice are inextricably linked to the dark days of Watergate because it was he, along with colleague Robert...
Saving Our Libraries: Patricia Battin
EIGHT AMERICANS-AMONG THEM A folklorist and a journalist, a librarian and a philosopher, an oral historian and a filmmaker, and two Pulitzer Prize-winning writers-were honored at a White House ceremony in September with the National Humanities Medal....
The Philosophy of Justice: John Rawls
JOHN RAWLS IS ONE OF THE MOST influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. But from his colleagues' descriptions, he doesn't give it away in his demeanor. "He's famously modest as a person," says Professor T. M. Scanlon, a former student...
The Reach of African Music
African music might celebrate a harvest or provide a rhythm to keep daily work apace. It might honor a chieftain or sustain the resistance of an oppressed citizenry. It might accompany mourners. Or, it might simply entertain. "Musical forms are so much...
The Southern Voice: Jacquelyn Dowd Hall
HE CAPTURES VOICES THAT OTHERWISE would fade. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall says that oral history is motivated by the fact that "only certain people, and usually the victors and people who have access to publicity, have power over historical memory. Even people...
The Theater of Life: August Wilson
IN JUST TWENTY YEARS, AMERICAN PLAYwright August Wilson has become one of the most important voices in modern theater. He has won acclaim from literary and theater critics for his plays, which portray the African American experience in the twentieth...
Your Place in Time
How have generations of Americans adapted to technology, from cars to Palm Pilots? The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, tackles this question in "Your Place in Time: 20th Century America," a new exhibition that opens December 15, 1999. Together,...

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