Putting ideas into action: kudos to the prisoner-of-war theatricals at Portchester castle!

News just arrived of an excellent initiative spear-headed by Kate Astbury (Univ. of Warwick):  as she writes, “the prisoners in 1810 performed to the locals and we’ve been recreating one of their melodrama.”  Check out this website and watch the video to learn more!

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/portchester-castle/history-and-stories/prisoners-theatre/

Given the horrors borne of incivility and hatred that are unfolding around us daily, perhaps 2017 is the year for academics to put at least some priority on sharing our knowledge and skills with local communities. Prof. Astbury’s recent efforts are just one more excellent way that she and her students are trying to connect with folks where they are, here and now.

We need to get involved with “the public”–and remember that we too are “the public.” If we remain invisible by thinking and caring and writing only about and for our tribe in academe, can we blame legislators and hostile pundits who wonder if our (modest) wages are worth the “value” we produce?

Do you know of other examples of academics putting their ideas about the revolutionary past into useful and inspiring action?  If you send them, we will post.  Send to jdouthwa@nd.edu

Bon courage to everyone, as we head back to school.

 

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