News Category: Council Programs

For Pride Month: Humanities Council Programs

For Pride Month, humanities councils join parades across the country with histories of change, LGBTQ ancestors, jazz, politics, literature, film, and stories past, present, and future. And people have noticed: among many, read stories about Vermont Humanities Council and Rhode Island Council for the Humanities programs that celebrate the contributions of trans and LGBTQ+ individuals and check out the list inside for additional programs.

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Caring Labor Sustains Life: Women’s Labor Activism in the Appalachian South

“These are men who worked for wages, and we associate them with the building of modern America. The coal miner in particular is an icon of the American working class. But what about domestic workers, farm laborers, or workers in the service industry? What about non-wage work?” said Dr. Jessica Wilkerson in a virtual West Virginia Humanities Council “Little Lecture” on May 30.

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Total Town Makeover with Missouri Humanities

“The size doesn’t matter, it’s the mindset,” Andrew McCrea said on January 21 in part one of “Total Town Makeover,” a Missouri Humanities two-part series drawing from McCrea’s book of the same name. Focused on rural economies, the series takes root in questions like, why does one small town thrive while another declines? What makes people want to live and work in one community but not another?

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Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the State and Jurisdictional Humanities Councils

What is decolonization? “Decolonization is not a metaphor…It’s more than a word. It’s a process, it’s a material shift,” explained Aiko Yamashiro, executive director of Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, in a Federation Wednesday Webinar on May 19—just one of many discussions focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage that happened across humanities councils and their communities this year. Click here to access a webinar on decolonization featuring several of our council leaders, a sample of programs occurring in Hawai’i, Guahan, and the Northern Marianas, and an interview with Dr. Bill Tsutsui on the “monstrous imagination” of the Japanese as he discusses Godzilla and other Japanese monsters.

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Stories of CHamorro Women with Northern Marianas Humanities Council

Tydingco said she realized she didn’t know who her grandmother was independent of her familial connection, and she set out to uncover the stories of so-called “ordinary” women. Through the lens of intersectionality, a concept conceived by Kimberlé Crenshaw that understands social constructs like race and gender overlap in systems of discrimination, Tydingco narrowed her scope to women who were of CHamorro descent born between 1940 and 1945 and focused on family, education, and occupation. She settled on CHamorro values, US colonization, and Catholicism as three essential points of intersectionality that determined agency and influenced the choices these women made.

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Environmental Humanities Programming

Preservation and education, water and recovery – for humanities councils, Earth Day in April was a reflection of environmental conversations they spark all year round. As a panelist at a Wisconsin Humanities discussion said, “What’s the best way to talk about [climate change], knowing that as a starting point this is something that should be historically, culturally, and context-dependent?”

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“Beyond Just Voting:” The Native Vote in Montana

“Especially if you grew up in Indian country on a reservation, it’s really easy to feel insular,” Begay said. “I remember growing up on Navajo Nation feeling like everything else was just nonsense, everything outside the Navajo Nation border was like, kind of foreign, literally foreign…and it took a while, like, well into my twenties, to realize that we’re all part of this really big political ecosystem.” From access and representation to restricted polling on reservations and limited ballot delivery, there have been—and continue to be—obstacles to Native civic engagement, panelists explained. Read more in this blog post on Humanities Montana’s program “Beyond Just Voting: The Native Vote.”

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Ethics and Ecosystems with Delaware Humanities

As the post-film discussion moved from learning about our immediate ecosystems to asking ethical questions and uncovering histories (European starlings, an invasive species, live in America because a Shakespeare fanatic wanted to import all the animals mentioned in Shakespeare’s works!), I was reminded how the humanities help us conceive of the reverberating connection between what we do and where we live. Read more in Ethics and Ecosystems with Delaware Humanities

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Wallace, Idaho: History of a Small But Mighty Mining Town With Idaho Humanities

Wallace, Idaho sits on the pristine eastern edge of the Idaho panhandle in Silver Valley, the Shoshone County Coeur d’Alene Mining District. Established in 1884 with a current population of about 946, Wallace may be small, but it’s mighty—the town has held the title of the world’s largest silver producer for more than a century while facing environmental challenges from devastating fires to invasive highway construction and serious lead contamination.

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Water Storytelling with Utah Humanities

“We have stories about water babies that are in the water, born in the water…but it would hypnotize you and coax you into that water and take you, so when you hear babies down by the river you don’t want to go down there” Cesspooch said. “I think that thing is somewhat also a reason why we didn’t make boats or make water a leisure type of recreation. I think it’s more along the lines of ‘respect water,’ it’s not there to play in, it’s life—it’s just another way of looking at it.” Read on to learn more about Utah Humanities’ “Think Water Utah” conversations.

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A Conversation on Decolonization with Humanities Guahan

“For over 500 years after Guåhan’s first contact with foreigners, our path has been driven by colonization, and today our people, our culture, and even our history continue to be shaped by the words and actions of world powers. However, we must remember that Guåhan has never stood idly by,” said the Chairwoman of the Commission Governor Lou Leon Guerrero as introduction. “We must acknowledge that our present political status does not meet our needs.” Read more here.

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“This is Our Voice”: Just Futures Youth Summit, Hawai’i Council for the Humanities

“There are so many youth out there who are excited about civic education, who are so excited about taking on these issues and so excited about participating in a political process,” Gillespie said. “[By the end of the summit] they had confidence in being able to talk to their state legislators and say ‘hey, we have these issues, you said that you promised to be willing to listen to us, this is our voice, let’s put this into action.’” Read more about Hawai’i Council for the Humanities Why It Matters Just Futures Youth Summit here.

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HNY’s Amended Podcast and the Nuances of History-telling

The idea for a podcast about the diversity of the women’s suffrage movement took root after HNY’s 2017 centennial commemoration of women’s right to vote in New York state. Rebman said that as they were looking to 2020, the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment (which states that a citizen’s right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of sex), they noticed an appetite to learn and to grapple with what the suffrage movement did—and did not—achieve. Read more about Humanities New York’s Amended podcast here.

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Celebrate Black History Month Throughout the Year with a Council Near You

Our country celebrates Black history this month, but Black history is an ever-present bedrock of who we are as a country. Where is that history? Everywhere! But I only had to look to any of the many humanities councils to learn what it is, how it is recorded, and whose stories it tells. With so many virtual programs going on this year, that meant with a good internet connection I had access to a treasure trove…

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