Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 20, No. 5, September/October

Afterlife of an Empress
Faustina the Elder was the wife of one Roman emperor and the mother-in-law of another. Although much of her relatively brief life remains cloaked in mystery, her reputation lived on well beyond her own lifetime and continues even in our own century....
A Glimpse of Gotham
The NEH-supported GOTHAM: A HISTORY OF NEW YORK CITY TO 1898 recently won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in History. The product of a twenty-year collaboration between Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace, the book draws on the work of hundred of scholars to offer...
American Popular Song Bound for Broadway
THE BLEND OF STORY AND SONG that defines the Broadway musical has captured audiences for most of the century, but who gave the genre its characteristic feel? Who brought an "American sound" to the theater, creating melodies unlike anything heard before...
Around the Nation: State by State
ALABAMA Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature and author of Beloved, is the featured guest at the culmination of a yearlong celebration for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Alabama Humanities Foundation. A two-day conference...
Ben Shahn's New York: The Art of Social Conscience
The photographs Ben Shahn took in New York in the 1930s are not typical images of skyscrapers and canyons of avenues. Art historian Deborah Kao sees his pictures as much more personal. "As much as some other photographers give you a window into New York,...
Changing with the Times
A NEW EXHIBITION SHOWS HOW THE PLATEAU INDIANS INCORPORATE CULTURE THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF settlers in the early nineteenth century, the Plateau Indians of the American West had experience with introducing change into their lives. How...
Having a Blast with History
HAVING A BLAST WITH HISTORY The Maine Humanities Council awarded its 1999 Constance H. Carlson Public Humanities Prize to Ethel "Billie" Gammon to honor her contributions to the public humanities in the state. Gammon, a leader in the field of "hands-on"...
In Focus: Oregon's Chris Zinn
Chris Zinn has this idea: Why not use the shopping mall as a place to get people interested in the humanities. Granted he says, "it's nothing new. It goes back to the Greeks and the idea of the marketplace, the agora, as a place to share ideas as well...
Money vs Freedom: The Russian Contradiction
The dismantling of the former Soviet Union affected all areas of Soviet life, including funding for scientific research. Historian Loren Graham raises the question of whether an enormous budget or an open intellectual climate is more important to the...
Richer Than Uncle Sam
HE COLLECTED RAILROADS AND BANKS AND EUROPE'S TREASURES AND EVEN SAVED WALL STREET Jean Strouse, author of the Bancroft Prize-winning biography of Alice James, spoke recently with NEH Chairman William R. Ferris about her latest book, MORGAN: AMERICAN...
The Island of Mannahatta
In the 1600s, the place was known as "mannahatta," an Indian word for "island of hills" or "place of general inebriation." It was a narrow and not-too-long strip of land where two rivers converged on a harbor. Voyagers from the Dutch West India Company...
The Maker of Stalin's Bomb
IN RUSSIA, he is as famous as Einstein and is revered as a great scientist. From 1943 until his death in 1960, he ran the Soviet nuclear weapons program. To honor his contributions to the Soviet state, he was buried in the walls of the Kremlin. Yet in...
The New World Symphony
BEHIND THE BATON IN CHICAGO BY 1890, CHICAGO HAD REBUILT ITSELF FROM the fire that all but destroyed it two decades before. The city was about to bask in the honor of being the host of a world's fair celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of the...
The Quintessential City: New York on Film
In February of 1860 Abraham Lincoln, a former Illinois congressman, arrived in New York on a Saturday, had his portrait taken at Mathew Brady's studio on Sunday, and delivered an impassioned antislavery speech at the Cooper Union on Monday. By the time...
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