I am Violet Sun, MA graduate in Cultural Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong—though I myself am actually from Beijing, mainland China. Over the course of this summer, I have gotten to know the lovely city of Providence, working as an intern at Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and staying at the Carriage House apartment in the 200+ year old Nightingale Brown House, right next door to the historic John Brown House.
Activist communities, consumed by the present, often forget to take time to look back to their past struggles and successes in order to inform their strategic choices. At the same time, social movement oral histories languish--unknown and untapped--in archives.
“Is This Home?” is an experiment in using new media to bridge this divide.
I was recently alerted to a long-time Athenaeum salon attendee’s analysis of the evolution of the salons during the time that he has attended. He described the early salons as small, intimate gatherings of people who asked thought-provoking questions in the course of substantive, robust conversations, and those in attendance were able to form close relationships.
Mary Mullen, who teaches in the department of English at Texas Tech University, published an article in the most recent Cultural Studies asking hard questions about the public humanities. In “Public Humanities' (Victorian) Culture Problem,” Mullen argues that
If you have a commuting routine - especially one that involves public transit - your weekday mornings are probably ruled by patterns: the alarm clock goes off, you make coffee, you head to the train station, you sit down in your usual seat and put your earbuds in. But how often do you think about these patterns, or about the people you’re sharing space with on a daily basis as you make your way to work?