public humanities at yale | e-newsletter | october 2020

Andy Horowitz spoke with Matt Jacobson at the virtual NHFPL about his new book, Katrina, A History: 1915-2015 on September 22, 2020 as our first talk in the "Democracy in America" Webinar series of 2020-2021.

Welcome to the October issue of the Public Humanities @ Yale monthly e-newsletter.

We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

We invite you to listen to a terrific conversation that took place on September 22 between Professors Andy Horowitz and Matt Jacobson. Horowitz's highly lauded book: Katrina, A History: 1915-2015 (Harvard University Press, 2020) was published this summer.

This event was the first in our 2020-2021 "Democracy in America" @ the New Haven Free Public Library Webinar series.  The next in this series will be a discussion with Philip F. Rubio on the US Post Office and will take place on October 27 @ 7:00-8:00pm.  Links to this event and announcements about our upcoming events are below.  Please join us!

As always, please don't hesitate to contact us at  We look forward to hearing from you.

Public Humanities Now

video | 1 hour

Recording | Professor Andy Horowitz talks about his new book, Katrina: A History: 1915-2015 with Professor Matt Jacobson.

What does Katrina teach? Historians Andy Horowitz and Matthew Jacobson discuss both the  “pre-” and the “post-” of Hurricane Katrina as a textbook study in American democracy and its vulnerabilities.  The pre-Katrina story traces a century-long trajectory of land-use practices, government policies, engineering failures, developers' designs, and deepening inequities that left the city ripe for the disaster of Katrina’s landfall in 2005.  The post-Katrina story is one in which that catastrophe came to be understood as emblematic of broader national emergencies around climate, infrastructure, and the burdens bestowed by racism and inequality.   

Webinar Events This Month 

[ Events Are Free & Open To The Public ] 

Wednesday, October 7 | 6:00-7:15 | 

Scholars & Their Publics: A Conversation with Amitava Kumar and Matt Jacobson, moderated by Leah Mirakhor.  

In this conversation, Professors Kumar and Jacobson examine how historians and literary studies scholars write about the present and for a public audience. Using Amitava Kumar's Every Day I Write the Book (Duke University Press, 2020) and Matt Jacobson's The Historian's Eye: Photography, History and the American Present (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), we will engage the various practices, politics and aesthetics of writing publicly and against critical moments like these.

Webinar Wed Oct 7 @ 6:00 link:

Tuesday, October 27 | 7:00-8:00 |  “Democracy in the United States and the Idea of the Post Office"

Philip F. Rubio in Conversation with Matt Jacobson about the US Post Office and his new book, Undelivered: From the Great Postal Strike of 1970 to the Manufactured Crisis of the US Postal Service (University of North Carolina Press, 2020).

Webinar Tues Oct 27 @ 7:00 link:

Upcoming Webinar Events 

[ Events Are Free & Open To The Public ] 

Thursday, November 12 |7:00-8:00 | On Akram Khater's documentary: "The Romey Lynchings"

Professor Akram Khater in conversation with Matt Jacobson on his documentary film: "The Romey Lynchings."  The Romey Lynchings tells the story of the deaths of Nou'la and Hasna Romey in Lake City, Florida, in 1929. N'oula Romey was the fourth victim of racial terror that year in Florida and one of 10 people who were lynched by white mobs across the U.S. in 1929 alone. Just hours before, his wife, Hasna (Fannie) Rahme, was fatally shot by Lake City police in the couple's store. 

Screening and conversation are part of the ongoing “Democracy in America" @ the NHFPL series  

Webinar Link: TBA

Tuesday, November 17 |7:00-8:00 | “The Psychological and Political Backlash against Diversity”

Professor Jennifer Richeson in Conversation with Matt Jacobson.  Part of the ongoing “Democracy in America" @ the NHFPL series  

Webinar Link: TBA

Tuesday, December 1 | 7:00-8:00 | "Maps and Elections"

Professor Bill Rankin in Conversation with Matt Jacobson.  Part of the ongoing “Democracy in America" @ the NHFPL series

Webinar Link: TBA

Tuesday, December 8 | 7:00-8:00 | "Reading and Discussion with Roberto Lovato"

Roberto Lovato talks about his new, highly praised book Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas (September 1, 2020) with Matt Jacobson.  Part of the ongoing “Democracy in America" @ the NHFPL series

Webinar Link: TBA

Tuesday, December 15 | 7:00-8:00 | “What We (Still) Get Wrong about 9/11”

Professor Zareena Grewal in Conversation with Matt Jacobson.  Part of the ongoing “Democracy in America" @ the NHFPL series

Webinar Link: TBA

Recent News

Here are some recent highlights of Public Humanities affiliated faculty, graduate students in the certificate program, and alumni:

Aanchal Saraf, PhD Candidate in American Studies, recently published "Aloha made: the circulation of empire, plastic & the visceral in Bishop Museum's 'Unreal Hawai'i'" in the latest online issue of Women and Performance.

Richard Deming, the Director of Creative Writing in the Department of English, published a new book on Orson Welles's Touch of Evil (1958) for the British Film Classics series.

Nancy Kuhl, Curator of Poetry, Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Library, launched a "Creativity 2020" series of videos, edited by Tubyez Cropper.  These short videos give insight into how artists such as Susan Bee, Emily Bernard, Peter Cole, Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, Wayne Koestenbaum, Gary Trudeau, Donald Margulies, Carl Phillips and more are thinking about creativity during the pandemic.

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