Author Archive

Briann Greenfield

History without vision: A struggle over art at the City Museum of New York

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Muralist and activist Mike Alewitz has finished his tribute to the labor and social justice movements, an imposing four-panel painting titled The City at the Crossroads of History–but the museum it was commissioned for doesn’t want it.

The Puffin Foundation, a grant maker that frequently supports politically left artists, engaged Alewitz to create the mural for a new gallery at the Museum of the City of New York. Read More

Never let a (humanities) crisis go to waste

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Last August, fans of the Colbert Report saw Duke University President Richard Brodhead encourage study in the humanities as essential to a balanced education. The interview segment can be seen here. Brodhead’s appearance was part of a marketing campaign engineered by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) that was designed to advance support for the humanities in much the same way that the National Academy of Sciences had promoted Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) with its 2007 report Rising above the Gathering Storm. Read More

Rethinking the refrigerator: The surprisingly sustainable past


old refrigeratorI teach a course in material culture studies, so I am in the habit of using historic artifacts to think about our changing relationship with the environment.  But nothing made this lesson clearer to me than a 1950s Hotpoint refrigerator.

When I acquired the refrigerator it was over 50 years old and looked it–there were dents, scratches, and rust decorating its exterior. Read More

Questioning the "Tuning" project

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The Connecticut Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (CCCPH) has followed the AHA’s announcement of the “Tuning” project to establish core competencies in history with great interest.  We believe this project will provide faculty with the time and resources to reflect on the essential skills of history and applaud the AHA’s attention to education. Read More