Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 4, July/August

2010 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities
China historian Jonathan Spence delivered the thirtyninth annual Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities on May 20, 2010, at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. In his address, "When Minds Met: China and the West in the Seventeenth Century," Spence carefully...
Around the Nation
A Roundup of Activities Sponsored by the State Humanities CouncilsALABAMANEH Chairman Jim Leach speaks on civility at Samford University in Birmingham on July 29.Teacher seminars in the state include "The Freedom Rights Movement in Alabama: From the...
Brother from the Richmond Planet
Crusading Journalist John Mitchell Jr.It played out like a John Ford Western - the hero packing a pair of pistols and walking the streets of the dusty town in search of justice and the man who'd threatened his life. But instead of John Wayne in the lead...
Calendar
Endowment-Supported Events."Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art" contains over two hundred objects characteristic of the artistry of Africans in America from the seventeenth century to the present. The exhibit, which includes five short films...
Editor's Note
The natural and the supernatural, the mental and the moral, verse and adversity all make an appearance in this issue of HUMANITIES. As the ancient playwright Terence put it, "I am human, 1 consider nothing human to be alien to me."And religion is human,...
Emily Dickinson, Gardener
"During her lifetime/' Susan Fraser insists, "Emily Dickinson was actually better known as a gardener than as a poet."Even the most cursory research reveals that Fraser, the director of the New York Botanical Garden's Mertz Library, is correct. Fewer...
Hey, Who You Callin' a Jacobin?
First of all, they are not even French. Second, they're hardly household names. This group of British writers who wrote philosophical and instructive tales with the problematic moniker hasn't nudged aside the works of, say, Jane Austen on most readers'...
Impertinent Questions WITH DUANE W. ROLLER
All hail Queen! Duane W. Roller, professor emeritus of Greek and Latin at Ohio State University, has crafted a new account of the life of Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt. The first account to be based solely on primary sources from the era, Cleopatra:...
Julie Mulvihill of Kansas
OF ALL THE DUTIES JULIE MULVIHILL carnes out as executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council, her greatest joy comes from the trips she makes to small towns across her state."There's that Robert Frost poem titled 'Happiness Makes Up in Height...
Murder on Foot
I like the idea of history as jazz," says the voice, young, female, and smooth. "You've got the main groove, but also these in-between notes that make the song memorable." This is not your normal historic walking tour. My guide, Alexandra McDougall,...
Of Stevedores and Book Slingers
Mention the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and what comes to mind are workers heaving bales along a waterfront, operating straddle carriers shipside, or driving winches above break bulk cargo holds. Rarely does the ILWU make people think...
OUR Founding Novelist
QUICK: WHO WAS THE FIRST professional writer in America? What was the first great American novel?Scratching your head? These seem like they should be easy questions to answer, or at least debate. But they often elicit confused looks. When I ask friends,...
Preachers of Peace
MAINE SHAKERS WERE NEW AGE BEFORE NEW AGE WAS cool. They lived in communes, worshipped a dual-gendered God, and practiced celibacy. They believed that the Christ-spirit dwelled in everyone and preached peace in the middle of a popular war. And they still...
Sister Poets
IN CHINA THEY WERE CALLED CAJNÜ.ONE EVENING IN THE MID NINETEENTH CENTURY in a large house in southeastern China, a young girl excitedly looked over the poem she had just finished. Its title was "Red Plum." She ran to show it to her father, who, in response,...
Sprechen Sie Texan?
It would be hard to imagine anyone more learned about the German spoken today in central Texas than Hans Boas. Serendipity brought him in contact with the folks, mostly elderly and numbering no more than ten thousand, who can still speak what is familiarly...
Tennessee's Homecoming
LOUISIANA TOM WILLIAMS ARRIVED IN NEW ORLEANS from his hometown of St. Louis the day after Christmas, 1938, looking for a "new scene" to inspiie his writing (and hoping to land a job with the Louisiana branch of the Federal Writers' Project). The twenty-eight-year-old...
The Art of Survival
SOUTH CAROLINA LIKE MANY TRADITIONAL QUILTS, THE ONES from Gee's Bend, Alabama, are made from strikingly humble materials: worn-out denim, tobacco pouches, old bed sheets, fertilizer and feed sacks. But unlike most quilts, these are hung in museums,...
The Fork and the Shrink
Kierkegaard was a psychologist of sorts, but unlike Freud he believed in God.There is a lot of moaning these days about the effects of technology on concentration. As the sighs go, the more pop-ups we get used to watching, the harder it becomes to sit...
The Gorgeous Unstoppable: Tennessee Williams
LOUISIANA EVERY ARTIST IS BORN IN JAIL AND TENNESSEE Williams's jail was called St. Louis. If you're the creative type, the first thing you do when you're born in jail is decorate your cell. The next thing you do is plan your breakout. Every major artist...
THE WAR 150 Years Later
As the sesQuicentennial nears, a selection of past, present, and future humanities projectsON MARCH 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the sixteenth president of the United States.He came by rail from Illinois, speaking to crowds along the route...

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