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Engaging in Conversations Across the State

Forty years ago, Humanities Tennessee was charged with "bringing the humanities to the public," and our new Conversations Bureau is providing an engaging way to answer that charge. We provided a public Conversation, Inheriting the Civil War, at the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, and a group of teachers discussed The Emancipation Proclamation and James Baldwin in Memphis, Tennessee.

In May, The Sam Davis Home in Smyrna hosted Region, Race, and Memory: Inheriting the Civil War, a Conversation facilitated by Dr. Michael Bertrand of Tennessee State University. Using excerpts from writers Ta-Nahesi Coates and Robert Penn Warren to provide a launching point, a small group of staff, board members, and visitors spent 90 minutes discussing how people remember the Civil War and how their identities are shaped by those memories. One participant said, "I learned so much and would absolutely participate again. Wonderful faciliator! A+"

In June, Humanities Tennessee partnered with Teaching with Primary Sources-MTSU, an organization administered by the Center for Historic Preservation which engages teachers and the public with using primary sources to explore major issues, to host a Conversation at their summer teacher workshop on Emancipation in Memphis. Dr. Charles McKinney of Rhodes College facilitated a Conversation on The Emancipation Proclamation and James Baldwin: A 20th Century Disquisition on Equality. Fifteen teachers participated, discussing the state of equality 150 years following Emancipation. "[The Conversation] fit nicely with the scope of the workshop, and was a great opportunity for our teachers to connect our discussion to the longer fight for equality." 

If your organization would like to host one of our Conversations, please get in touch with us  today!