Public Humanities Blog

In the Unabridged Dictionary of Lies, Entry under “Chernobyl”

June 4, 2019

The American entertainment industry has no shortage of horror and post-apocalyptic fantasies. Zombies, aliens, plagues, serial killers, and imaginary monsters take over our imagination on the screen and the page. We suspend our disbelief for a few hours, entranced by blood, gore, and suspense, then return to the safety of our living rooms, free of monsters and zombies. Unlike the traditional horror stories, there is nothing imaginary about Chernobyl. For those who lived through it, the adversaries - the atom and the State - are real, invisible, ever-present and seemingly invincible.

How Public Humanities Expanded My Ethnographic Practice (and Helped Me Get a Job)

May 7, 2019

I’ve always been deeply curious about human thoughts and behavior, how we translate and communicate our interior lives to others, but it wasn’t until college that I realized anthropology and museum studies could be a way to pursue this curiosity. I learned that museums are not neutral spaces that present straightforward facts, but are political institutions that actively work to shape public perceptions of science, history, culture, and art.

A Hong Kong Food Journey

April 8, 2019

This past January nine students from the Public Humanities program left their perspective winter break destination and headed to Hong Kong, to work on two projects under the guidance of Professors Susan Smulyan and Robert Lee. Through the course of a week the students worked in two groups, in collaboration with faculty and students from Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). One group focused on a cultural interpretation project with CUHK Professor Oscar Ho (look out for their work at the “Along The Edge Arts Festival” in April).

Do you remember house?

March 27, 2019

The publication of a new book can offer the chance for its author to reflect on the travels that brought the work into the world. Here Micah Salkind (PhD Brown, American Studies, MA Public Humanities) discusses his Do You Remember House? Chicago’s Queer of Color Undergrounds (Oxford University Press, 2019) with Kiri Miller, Professor of American Studies and Music – Ed.

KM: What was your relationship to house music and culture before you started to study it formally?