Bringing Guantánamo Home

Last June, I interviewed a former resident of the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (or GTMO). In the oddly formal setting of the downstairs sitting room at the public humanities center, she shared memories of high school, friends and the close-knit community at the base. For her, GTMO epitomized the post-WWII all-American small town. It represented what is best about this country.

(Distributed July 18, 2013)

The Value of Digital Storytelling for Small Museums: or, How PowerPoint 2013 Transformed My Life

In his feedback on my final project for Digital Storytelling (AMST 2699) my teacher Tyler Denmead, PhD, wrote, “Your discovery of PowerPoint’s potential has obviously been transformative for you this semester.”  Wow, that made me stop and think. “Transformative” is a very powerful word. Falling in love is transformative. Having a baby is transformative. Was PowerPoint really transforming me? And wouldn’t it be a little sad if it was?

(Distributed July 10, 2013)

Brown History Exhibition

Brown’s 250th anniversary is 2014, and the Public Humanities Center will participate in many ways. Students in AMST1550, Methods in Public Humanities, took the lead. Here’s the assignment: 

(Distributed July 1, 2013)

Reflecting Change: City. Plaza. People.

Since its creation in 1848 as City Hall Park, Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence has undergone continuous, rapid, and significant change.  It has served as a transportation hub for horses, carriages, trolleys, and buses. Buildings have been built up, torn down, abandoned and renovated. Audiences have watched Houdini perform feats of magic, John F. Kennedy speak, and the aerial performers of Bandaloop dance on the side of a building.

(Distributed June 17, 2013)

My Travels at Brown

Franklin Odo, reflects on his month in residence as a senior fellow in Public Humanities at Brown.  


A residency at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage has included several distinct albeit interconnected journeys all in the space of a single month, April 2013.

(Distributed April 24, 2013)

Expanding access to arts and humanities opportunities for Providence children

On Thursday, April 25, The Center for Public Humanities is co-sponsoring the 2013 Senator Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities, titled, Now is the Time!: Expanding Access to Arts Opportunities in the Creative Capital.    

A panel conversation features experts from Hartford, the Bronx, and Boston, who will discuss how their respective initiatives have made great strides in redressing the decline of arts and humanities opportunities for urban children and young people.  

(Distributed April 23, 2013)

History on the go

What do Rhode Island’s official state bird, a Revolutionary War Battle, and kitschy 1970s comedian and game show stalwart Charles Nelson Reilly have in common? Their stories will be included on a new mobile smartphone application called Sakonnet Historical, developed through collaboration between the Tiverton Public Library, the Little Compton Historical Society, and students from the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities.

(Distributed April 5, 2013)
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