Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 1, January/February

A Capitol View
United States Capitol Historical SocietyRONALD SARASIN SAYS THAT ONE OF HIS FAVORITE PASTIMES is leading special tours onto the House floor of the U.S. Capitol."There is so much more to be told about our nation's history from inside this building than...
America's Savvy Sweetheart: Mary Pickford
IN THE ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE WORLD OF America's early film industry, movie moguls met their match in Mary Pickford."She had no education, and yet she hit the top of the pile. She did it all-act, direct, produce-and she was good at it all in a way that no...
A Roundup of Activities
Sponsored by the State Humanities CouncilsARIZONA"History on the Mall," an event that commemorates Arizona's heritage, will take place at the state capitol in Phoenix on February 14. Exhibitions from more than twenty state museums and heritage centers...
"Blind" Boone: Missouri Honors Its Ragtime Pioneer
JOHN WILLIAM BOONE WORE OUT SIXTEEN pianos by age fifty-one playing songs that ranged from "Dat Only Chicken Pie" to Chopin's "Military Polonaise." Billed as "the marvelous musical prodigy," Boone composed complex pieces on the spot and could play back...
Civility in a Democracy
WITH A NEW PRESIDENTIAL TERM BEGINNING, NEH Chairman Bruce Cole talks with Judith Martin about how standards of behavior were adapted for an American democracy. Known to readers of her syndicated column as Miss Manners, Judith Martin is the author of...
Eight Who Make a Difference
Changing ExpectationsMarva CollinsPASSING ALONG THE IDEAS OF THE humanities to the next generation is a recurring theme among the winners of the 2004 National Humanities Medal. "The beauty of philosophy is that you can lead people to the frontier of...
For Art's Sake
Hilton Kramer"WITHOUT ART, WITHOUT high culture," says art critic Hilton Kramer, "sooner or later we'll all be barbarians." As editor and publisher of the New Criterion, which he founded with Samuel Lipman in 1982, Kramer is a critic who makes judgments...
Insight to a Republic
Harvey C. MansfieldPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHER Harvey C. Mansfield looks at contemporary politics through the lens of past thinkers. His thirteen books delve into subjects such as Edmund Burke and the nature of political parties and Machiavelli and indirect...
Learning from the Victorians
Gertrude HimmelfarbAS ONE OF THE EEADING SCHOEARS OF VICTORIAN studies, Gertrude Himmelfarb has tried to dispel stereotypes about the Victorian world."It's not quite a respectable word yet," she says. "It's now used as an epithet, as a derogatory or...
New Faces
Eight new members have joined the National Council on the Humanities, a board of twenty-six private citizens who meet four times a year to review grant applications and advise the chairman on the Endowment's policies, programs, and procedures. Council...
Philosophy of the Mind
John SearlePHILOSOPHER JOHN SEARLE challenges the notion that the mind works as a computer. "That's not to say that computers are useless and we shouldn't use them," he says. "But the computer does a model or a simulation of a process. The computer theory...
Protocol for a Republic
"They all went into the etiquette business. Jefferson wrote about etiquette, and Benjamin Franklin, of course, and others," Miss Manners tells us. "First of all, they had to establish what would be an appropriate protocol for a republic."As the presidential...
Saving the Silents
IN THE DARKENED MOVIE THEATER, THE HEROINE IS RISKING HER LIFE, showing amazing feats of physical strength and agility. The action picks up speed, the energy of the music accentuates the mounting tension, and the audience faces one surprise after another-and...
Telling Stories
Madeleine L'EngleON HER FORTIETH BIRTHDAY, writer Madeleine L'Engle entertained serious thoughts of giving up writing. She had received rejection after rejection of both her children's and adult novels. On that birthday, she received news that her latest...
The Demise of Protocol
The Madisons arrived in Washington on May 1, 1801. Dolley Madison was then thirty-three years old, her husband fifty-one. She was not classically beautiful, but she had a compelling presence. It was not just her physical attractiveness or her elegance...
Translating Fashion
CUSTOMS AND CLOTHES IN THE AGE OF EXPLORATION"HOW ODDLY HE IS SUITED I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany and his behavior every where," says Portia about her English suitor in Shakespeare's Merchant...
Writing on Race
Shelby SteeleIN ALL OF HIS WORK, SOCIAL critic Shelby Steele applies the universal teachings of philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Thomas Jefferson to illuminate the plight of blacks in present-day America. "The mistake everybody makes when they...
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