public intellectual

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public intellectual (plural public intellectuals)

  1. (idiomatic) A well-known, intelligent, learned person whose written works and other social and cultural contributions are recognized not only by academic audiences and readers, but also by many members of society in general.
    • 2001 June 13, Chris Hedges, "Public Lives: Watching Bush's Language, and Television," New York Times (retrieved 24 Oct 2012):
      "I have always taken the role of public intellectual very, very seriously," said Mark Crispin Miller, 51, a professor of media ecology at New York University. "A public intellectual is someone who engages in intellectual pursuits, airs intellectual concerns in a way the broad, literate public can understand. The tradition thrives in Europe, but the American public does not have the same expectation of its intellectuals."
    • 2005, Louis Mazzari, "New Introduction" to Preface To Peasantry (1936) by Arthur Franklin Raper, →ISBN, p. xvii (Google preview):
      As a sociologist, Raper concerned himself with everything from the legal impediments African Americans faced to the way blacks and whites arranged themselves around the hot stove in a small-town general store. He was among the first generation of southern public intellectuals, an engaged academic in a region where anti-intellectualism had a long and healthy tradition.
    • 2012 June 11, Nate Rawlings, "Paul Fussell" (Obituary), Time:
      After years of teaching 18th century British literature, in 1975 he crossed from academic to public intellectual with The Great War and Modern Memory, a seminal book examining how World War I, by its scope and immense carnage, caused a disillusionment that plagued Western society for decades.