News Category: Humanities in American Life

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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NHC 21: Call for Session Proposals

As we begin 2021, we are very much looking forward to this year’s National Humanities Conference, which will be held November 11-14, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Of course, we are paying close attention to the CDC and WHO recommendations regarding COVID-19 and will adjust as necessary to ensure the health and well-being of attendees. In addition to the in-person event, we are currently planning a small number of virtual sessions in conjunction with the conference and opportunities to connect from afar. Read the official 2021 NHC Call for Proposals here.

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Black Roots: Everett Fly Delivers Frederick Law Olmsted Lecture at Harvard University

“Bit by bit, I was able to find enough documentation on thirty or forty Black communities, including Tuskegee, Alabama; Mound Bayou, Mississippi; Hobson City, Alabama; and Eatonville, Florida. I collected enough to submit a coherent paper and thought I had proved my point—that African Americans had even built towns,” Fly said. Read on to learn more about “American Cultural Landscapes: Black Roots and Treasures.”

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Florida Humanities Navigates Sacred Waters

“When we think about stories, we think of this ‘Once upon a time…’ there’s a moral, a take-away, that tells us something larger about ourselves and about our environment,” Machado said in “Sacred Water: Exploring the Protection of Florida’s Fluid Landscapes,” a Florida Humanities virtual presentation recorded on October 14, 2020. Read more about Florida Humanities’ program and how the humanities can help us think about our environment.

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Donuts Ask Big Questions Too: Humanities Washington’s Cabin Fever Kids

“His parents wanted him to accept who he was—a zombie,” the narrator says, “And zombies don’t eat veggies.” Afterward, you can turn back to the Cabin Fever Kids collection, where there are thoughtful questions for readers to ask about Mauricio’s dilemma, like “How are you different from or the same as your family?” Read about Humanities Washington’s “Cabin Fever Kids” program.

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Building Community Relationships During a Pandemic: PHC’s Teen Reading Lounge

The core of Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s (PHC) award-winning, nontraditional book club, the Teen Reading Lounge (TRL), has always been relationships—between young adults, librarians, and communities who ask questions, share ideas, and develop together. So when schools and libraries closed earlier this year after the pandemic hit, relationships were still going to be at the heart of whatever way the program adapted. Read more.

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Democracy as a Way of Living: Jamelle Bouie with Oregon Humanities

“I think the reason people are motivated [to vote]…is less because they think their individual vote is going to be decisive and more because voting, casting a ballot, is sort of part of a set of things you do as part of a community,” Bouie told Davis. “This is civic participation, it is a collective endeavor that we all do to sort of signal to each other our investment in this idea of self-government and this idea of choosing our leaders.” Read more here.

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Nevada Humanities: Making Voices Heard

When you walk into an art gallery, do you move clockwise or counterclockwise? Are your eyes drawn to the color, the medium, the framing, or the other people milling around? These are just a few questions Nevada Humanities asked themselves when they were adapting their latest exhibition, “Resiliency: A Blooming Diaspora,” online. A lot about the way we move in the world has changed this year because of the pandemic, and walking through a gallery is no exception, but Nevada Humanities knows that doesn’t mean the experience is any less powerful. Read on.

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A Soundtrack for 21st-Century Rural Kansas

Ever hear a song on the radio and feel transported to a place in your mind? John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” or Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” tell the story of America like only music can. Humanities Kansas wanted to capture that feeling as a state-specific part of the “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” tour, a nationwide travelling exhibition focused on rural communities. So they came up with a program called “The Soundtrack of Rural America,” a curated playlist made for and by Kansans. Read more here.

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Discover Your Humanities Horoscope – Fall Edition

This October brings a mix of historical gravity and the spooky supernatural. Whether you side with the 1597 admonishment of astrology as “thou damned mock-art and thou brainsick tale” or the earlier 1523 celebration of it as “many noble thyngis Of wandryng of the mone, the course of the sun” (as per the Oxford English Dictionary), you can count on Humanities Horoscopes to reveal some of America’s historic highlights. You never know what unlikely figure your planetary forecast might uncover. Discover your Humanities Horoscope and let us know whether your spooky connection ghosted you or is howl-ingly accurate!

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