public humanities at yale | e-newsletter | november 2020

"Democracy in America: The History of Our Time and Place" Webinar series (2020-2021) in collaboration with the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) continues this month with two new conversations on November 12th and 17th. 

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

We hope you are staying safe and healthy.

We invite you to listen to two excerpts (below) from recent Public Humanities events.  The first is from a terrific conversation on writing between Amitava Kumar and Matt Jacobson, moderated by Leah Mirakhor, which took place on October 7th as part of Leah Mirakhor's Public Writing colloquium (a collaboration between Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Public Humanities).  In the second excerpt, Professors Philip F. Rubio and Matt Jacobson discuss a crucial topic right now: current (and past) crises in the US Post Office.  

The ongoing "Democracy in America" @ the New Haven Free Public Library Webinar series continues with two events this month: on Thursday November 12th @ 7:00 we will host a conversation between Akram Khater and Matt Jacobson, following a screening of Professor Khater's lauded 26-minute film, "The Romey Lynchings."  On Tuesday November 17th @ 7:00 Professor Jennifer Richeson will discuss "The Psychological and Political Backlash Against Diversity," followed by a conversation with Matt Jacobson.  Links to these events 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

Listen | 8 minutes

Audio Excerpt | In a conversation on public writing moderated by Professor Leah Mirakhor, Amitava Kumar and Matt Jacobson discuss their recent books-- Every Day I Write the Book: Notes on Style (2020) and The Historian's Eye: Photography, History and the American Present (2019).

Watch the entire conversation here (75 minutes)

Excerpt Philip F  Rubio and Matt Jacobson on the US Post Office
Listen | 8 minutes

Audio Excerpt | Philip F. Rubio talks about current and past United States Post Office crises with Matt Jacobson.

Watch the entire conversation here (1 hour)

Webinar Events This Month 

[ Events Are Free & Open To The Public ] 

Thursday, November 12 |7:00-8:00 | Screening and Conversation on Akram Khater's documentary: "The Romey Lynchings"

Professor Akram Khater will introduce his documentary film: "The Romey Lynchings: A Story of Lebanese Immigrants" @ 7:00, followed by a 26-minute screening and then a conversation with Matt JacobsonThe 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" series 

Zoom Webinar Link:

Watch "The Romey Lynchings: A Story of Lebanese Immigrants"Film Link

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  

Zoom Webinar Link:

Upcoming Webinar Events 

[ Events Are Free & Open To The Public ] 

Tuesday, December 1 | 7:00-8:00 | “What Can Election Mapping Tell Us About American Democracy?”

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


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

An upcoming conversation & workshop: Activating June Jordan’s “Life Studies” notes, conversation & workshop with Conor Tomás Reed and Talia Shalev will take place on Thursday, November 12 from 3:30pm-5:00pm Zoom registration link:  Presented with support from the Ethnicity, Race and Migration Program at Yale University and the Wendy’s Subway Residency Program in Brooklyn, New York.  Facilitated by Maryam Ivette Parhizkar as part of the course ER&M 363: Ethnic Studies and the Social Imagination. For questions about this event contact

As part of the Gallery Talks at the Beinecke series: Anya Montiel, curator of American and Native American women’s art and craft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian, will speak November 16th @ 4:00 on the artists’ books of Rick Bartow. Zoom webinar registration required.  

A collaboration between the Ethnicity, Race and Migration program and Public Humanities, Leah Mirakhor's colloquium on public writing brings together editors, reporters, scholars in conversation with graduate students from across the disciplines to discuss the intersections of the scholarly and the public facing. Questions center on ways of writing about the present, engaging broad audiences, and examining various methods and approaches to bridging scholarly training with public facing work. Public events have featured Amitava Kumar and Matt Jacobson in conversation about the responsibility of writers in moments of crisis (see above video excerpt) and engaging readers beyond disciplinary boundaries. Guest speakers have included: Jenny Schuessler, culture writer for The NY Times; Ed Yong, science writer for the Atlantic; Tom Lutz and Boris Drayluk, editors of the Los Angeles Review of Books and Prof Daphne Brooks. In conjunction with the colloquium, Mirakhor teaches an undergraduate class titled Public Writing: Writing in the Age of Crisis

Courtney Sato, who completed a concentration in Public Humanities with a focus on public history and digital humanities at Yale in 2019 and who is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, spoke recently at Yale Public Humanities about her project: Out of the Desert, which interprets World War II Japanese American incarceration history for a broad public audience.

In case you missed it, Professor David Bromwich recently  spoke with National Humanities Center President Robert Newman and writer and scholar David Bromwich to discuss his book, American Breakdown: The Trump Years and How They Befell UsA recording of the discussion is available here

The new Yale Review Editor Meghan O'Rourke spoke with poet Terrance Hayes about poetry and the present on October 28th.  TYR talks continue on December 3rd with poet Jericho Brown. See the TYR site to register and subscribe.

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