Writing War's Full Range of Emotions: The 1914 Christmas Truce

Writing War’s Full Range of Emotions: The 1914 Christmas Truce Kristina H. Reardon On Christmas Eve of 1914, German, French and British soldiers in Belgium waited in the trenches, now sure the war would not be over by Christmas. Yet optimism that the war might soon end had not died, and, according to war lore, neither had the spirit of the season. As letters, diaries, and memoirs report, Germans lit candles and began to sing...

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Cutting up Books in Libraries and other FAIR Adventures

On a recent Saturday, a group of adults and preteens gathered at the J.V. Fletcher Library in Westford, MA and began cutting up books. I mean, really tearing into them, leaving big holes in the pages. Right there in plain view of the librarian. And no one stopped them. They cut and ripped and cut some more. And then something magical happened. The books were reborn. They became art. I saw it all. I was the lucky soul invited to...

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Will the Real First Thanksgiving Please Stand Up?

“And God be praised, we had a good increase…. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling that so we might after a special manner rejoice together….These things I thought good to let you understand… that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favourably with us.” So wrote Puritan separatist Edward Winslow from Plymouth Colony in a letter to a friend in 1621,...

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Essays Old and New

In the later sixteenth century, about a century after the introduction of the print, Renaissance humanists evolved a novel literary genre, the Essay. The name itself was probably coined by the French thinker Michel de Montaigne. He felt he needed a written mode that would allow him to capture his own thoughts on an important subject, to test their validity, to speculate about their deeper meaning, and to accomplish all this in a...

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“Cast Your Whole Vote”: Conversations on the American Social Contract

Two days ago I had the honor of moderating the second of this fall’s four Created Equal: Conversations on Negotiating the American Social Contract events. The series of public film and discussion forums is designed to showcase the theme of Mass Humanities’ 40th Anniversary year (Negotiating the Social Contract) and encourage community organizations and cultural institutions to imagine, propose and carry out public...

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The Cream of the New England Short Film Crop

Technically, the Internet reaches a worldwide audience, but for us at NewEnglandFilm.com, we try to think a bit more locally. The initial idea for the Online New England Film Festival came from our goal to promote local filmmaking to our local community. NewEnglandFilm.com has provided casting/crew listings, a production directory, and an online magazine since 1996, so the online festival, which launched in 2009, is a newer part of...

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