Anonymous Was a Woman #NEHturns50

First, a very happy 50th birthday to the National Endowment for the Humanities today! If you want to participate in their celebrations, tell them why you love the humanities on Twitter @NEHgov, with #NEHturns50. We are celebrating here at IC because in 2014, an NEH Challenge Grant made the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives into a reality.

I personally love the humanities because through art, literature, history, and many other fields, we can communicate complex feelings and ideas to a wide audience. During the early 19th century, a highly literate generation of women began publishing in unprecedented numbers. The women of Jacksonville were no exception, joining the trend with gusto and adding their own “frontier flair” to poetry and the short story. Women rarely show up in official government documents, so without the humanities, and their drive to share their ideas, they would otherwise be lost to history.

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Finding American Athena

DSC_0994The cover photo for comes from one of Jacksonville’s key landmarks, a memorial to Morgan County residents who served in the Civil War. Dedicated in 1920, the monument provides some clues about how Jacksonville residents of the early twentieth century perceived men’s and women’s civic responsibilities.  Continue reading