Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 19, No. 6, November/December

Acts of Generosity
A half-century ago, America was enjoying a brief euphoria after five years of war. The nation's GIs were in college in unprecedented numbers, supported by money from the government. Novels about the war were emerging, one of the first, The Naked and...
Around the Nation
ARIZONA "Diversity on the Border: 199S1999" is the subject of the Speakers' Series at the University of Arizona's Sierra Vista campus. The series targets kindergarten through twelfth grade educators and covers issues of diversity in the classroom and...
A Tribute to the Prairie
Only a few patches survive of the tallgrass prairies that once covered the Great Plains of the United States. Two hundred years of expansion across the continent have transformed the plains into an agricultural powerhouse, squeezing out the native plants...
Deconstructing Performance Garry Wills: An Eye on History
In countless articles, essays and books, Garry Wills has shared his knowledge and insight on politics, history, religion, and theater. But if you ask him, Wills, a prodigious writer and voracious reader, will tell you that most of his work has been about...
Faith in America Diana Eck and Religious Diversity
Diana Eck had been traveling to India to study its religions for more than twenty years. Yet she never saw a Hindu temple consecration until one took place in Ashland, Massachusetts. The ceremony involved the waters of the Ganges River-mingled with the...
Heraldry and Harleys
"Road Warriors: Knight Riders," a new exhibition at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, challenges popular stereotypes of the medieval horseman and modern motorcyclist. "There are definite similarities between the knight of the Middle...
How the Marshall Plan Came About
ON COMMENCEMENT DAY at Harvard University in June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall told an audience of alumni gathered in the yard about a plan to provide Europe with economic aid. The speech, delivered in the calm, deliberate manner that...
I'll Make Me a World
"The artist is free to take new kinds of risks, to envision art in a new kind of way, to take certain Western standards and turn them on their heads, to bend them, to do whatever you want with them," says music historian Gerald Early. He is describing...
Life on the Border the Work of Ramon Eduardo Ruiz
Ramon Eduardo Ruiz, professor emeritus of history at the University of California, San Diego, has spent all of his seventy-seven years living "within hailing distance of the Mexican border, at one time or another calling Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and...
New Perspectives on the Cold War: A Conversation with Melvyn Leffler
Endowment Chairman William R. Ferris talked recently with historian Melvyn leffler about the economic and political realignments after World War II. Leffler is the Stettinius Professor of History at the University of Virginia and Sciences. Among his...
Opening Locked Doors: Reflections on Teaching the Holocaust
For thirty years Lawrence L. Langer has been teaching Holocaust literature. This article is adapted from his forthcoming book, PREEMPTING THE HOLOCAUST. I magine a teacher fifty years from now in a course on the twentiethcentury short story trying to...
Pushing Literary Limits Henry Louis Gates, JR., and the Modern Curriculum
Literary and cultural critic Henry Louis Gates, Jr., thrives on controversy. "I began my career fighting for what we call cultural pluralism," he once said in a television interview. The battle that began in the English literature department at Cambridge...
Reconstructing Jacob Lawrence
A Scholarly Team Prepares the Master Catalog JACOB LAWRENCE BURST ONTO THE AMERICAN canvas in the 1930s with an expressive authority and an avalanche of work that stunned, charmed, and enlightened all at once. The only trouble is, he never let up. Approximately...
The American Century Arthur Schlesinger, JR., Opens Our Past
History, it seems, is not only in the facts, but also in the genes. Or so Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., laughingly conceded recently. "I grew up in a household that was saturated with history. Not only my father, but also my mother was a historian. Her maiden...
The People's Historian Stephen Ambrose and the American Psyche
As one of America's leading biographers and historians, Stephen E. Ambrose shapes our national memory of great leaders and the important events of our time. At the core of Ambrose's phenomenal success in awakening the historical curiosity of the reading...
The Rainmaker Vartan Gregorian Fuels the Humanities
"Call me Vartan," he laughingly insists when addressed as Dr. Gregorian, "doctor is for dentists!" The man who salvaged the New York Public Library brings a lifetime of intellectual excellence, proven administrative savvy, and, perhaps most of all, a...
The Storyteller Nancye Brown GAJ, Founder of Motheread
Nancye Brown Gaj remembers the first time she entered the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women. It was a cold January night in 1987, and she was accompanied by only one other volunteer. Gaj had never been behind the gates of a prison before,...
Unlikely Occurrences E.L. Doctorow and His Mythmaking
The writer E. L. Doctorow does not believe in the idea of progress. Nor does he believe in the absolute sanctity of historical fact. "Where mythology and history converge, that's where I start my novels," he says. Above all a novelist, Doctorow has rejected...
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