Updated Sept 4:
Earlier this summer, I got an e-mail about a regional forum. From the e-mail:
At the request of several members of the U.S. Congress, the American Academy for the Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in Cambridge has formed a Commission to collect testimony and prepare a set of recommendations for improving the study of the humanities and strengthening their role in all aspects of American public life (see attached description). In support of this effort, the six New England statehumanities councils have responded to an invitation from the AAAS to assist in planning and implementing a regional forum that will bring the important work that we are doing in the public humanities to the attention of the Commission.
I was invited to talk about the Clemente Course in the Humanities for the commission and was honored and pleased to do so. Among the commission members I spoke to were the former Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen and former Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
An article in the Providence Journal reported on the forum (albeit with some errors, especially in regards to my position and a statement I made, so be sure to read my correction at bottom), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has posted video of the testimony; mine is here:
The text of my prepared talk is now up on the Public Humanist blog.