We’re talking the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service, medieval baking practices, secret universities and more in this week’s Friday Faves.
Bronwen Fetters, executive assistant and program associate:
- This article from Literary Hub remembers the Barbizon Hotel, which housed a variety of young working women during the mid-twentieth century, including aspiring writers Joan Didion and Sylvia Plath. If you’ve read Plath’s famous semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, you’ll recall Esther Greenwood lives in the Amazon Hotel, obviously inspired by Plath’s own residence in this real-life location.
- While I doubt they’ll find a Gilbert Blythe as swoon-worthy as Jonathan Crombie (I’ve had a poster of him hanging in my closet since adolescence…), the CBC is producing a new Anne of Green Gables miniseries that will air on Netflix, and it’s set to start filming this September. Since the CBC already once achieved perfection on the Anne-miniseries front, I’m anxious about this new undertaking, but who am I kidding? I will absolutely be watching if Gilbert is involved.
George Hanlin, director of grants:
- The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25! To celebrate, the NPS is sponsoring a number of events, outlined on a centennial page on its website. Be sure to check out features highlighting the history of the NPS and the beauty of the parks.
- Want to observe the NPS anniversary at one of Indiana’s national parklands? The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is hosting a free concert by the Northwest Indiana Symphony this Saturday, August 27, at 7:30 p.m. It’s also the 50th anniversary of the national lakeshore (founded in 1966), so there are two good reason to celebrate—and what better way than with sand, a sunset, and a symphony!
- By the time Woodrow Wilson signed legislation officially creating the National Park Service in 1916, the U.S. had already established several national parks. While Theodore Roosevelt gets much credit for being an early proponent for national parks, Indiana’s own President Benjamin Harrison preceded him as a strong conservation advocate, among other things establishing Sequoia, General Grant, and Yosemite national parks. You can learn more about Harrison’s efforts in this Indiana Humanities blog post.
Kristen Fuhs Wells, director of communications and development:
- Thanks to board member Ted Frantz for alerting us to the news that a few parks in Michigan now sport poetry on their traditional brown signs. The discovery of poetry in an unlikely setting is what the park was going for—and why I love it!
- The National Endowment for the Humanities is celebrating its 50th year by highlighting 50 projects it has supported during its history. Get lost in some of the fascinating research—from excavating an ancient shipwreck to the papers of George Washington.
Leah Nahmias, director of programs and community engagement:
- Drop what you’re doing and read this incredible story about the African archaeologists who are searching for the wreckages of slave ships that sank during the Middle Passage. The story shares why African historians have been slow to study the slave trade and the incredible lengths researchers today are taking to dig into this (underwater) history.
- Do you find yourself hooked on The Great British Bake-Off? Then I think you’ll love this deep dive from the British Library into medieval baking practices, complete with illustrations from illuminated manuscripts. I’ll tease you with the promise of bunny bakers!
- Meet the writers—including friend-of-a-friend Renee Watson–who are working to turn Langston Hughes’ Harlem brownstone into a writers center. As you might imagine, the strong forces of gentrification are reshaping the traditional black neighborhood where it’s located; it’s inspiring to hear writers talk about how important it is to keep the home of this powerful writer from turning into another condo or coffee shop.
Keira Amstutz, president and CEO:
- I’m fascinated with the revolutionary war period and enjoyed this post from the New York Public Library on what it was like to be a woman in America at that time.
Jacqueline Cromleigh, communications and community relations manager:
- After clicking through George’s links, I encourage you to continue the celebration of the National Park Service with this beautiful collection of op-eds, guides and photographs from The New York Times.
- I was seriously sucked into this article about Marie Curie’s academic pursuit. In a time where a woman’s right to an education was nonexistent, the scientist (along with many other female and male students) began taking secret classes at The Flying (or Floating) University.
Do you have any humanities highlights from your week? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.