Fascist Control of Theatre in the 1930s & 40s

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Control of public space is essential for the existence of an oppressive regime or dictatorship. Political ideas such as fascism cannot thrive unless they are the dominating subject of conversation in public. Fascism and other forms of dictatorship survive by smothering any other political ideas out of the public mind. A very effective way to do that is to control and manipulate public space through the cultural tool that is theatre. The political idea of…

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Librarians on Horseback & The New Deal: A Fascinating History

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It’s one of the staples of a high school history education, and one of the most widely known pieces of reform in America’s history—Franklin Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ plan. Roosevelt’s vision included a host of public works projects, public reforms, and regulations in an attempt to stabilize the United States economy as a response to the Great Depression. The creation of basic programs—roads, Social Security, Wall Street reform, aid for farmers—are all familiar to the most…

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Toddlers in Court: 21st c. Family Separation & 19th c. Charles Dickens

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I’m immersed in two books right now, both by Charles Dickens. I’m rereading Bleak House (1852-53) and during some long car trips this summer, I’ve been listening to David Copperfield (1849-50). I’ve read these works before, but each time I re-enter their worlds, I feel they are new. Because I write about law and literature in the nineteenth century, I spend a lot of time, perhaps an inordinate amount of time, thinking about the relationship between individuals…

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HEC Student Competition, Third Place: Madison Stehle on History & Guernica

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This spring, we held our first Humanities & Ethics Center Student Competition. We invited Drury students to submit a reflection, of no more than 300 words, on a record of the human experience that has affected them.   A “record” here could come from any of the following categories: books,  films, essays, historical objects, religious texts & objects,  artworks & digital media, languages and cultures, authors, philosophers, religious or historical figures, monuments, or memorials. During four…

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