Last September, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced $2.8 million in funding for 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils and other partners to support civic engagement and American history … Read more
This six-episode season is about the role the humanities have played during the pandemic and in our recovery across the greater United States. Each episode balances two interviews: one that tells a story from a public humanities program about a specific topic and another that takes a broad-ranging look at it with a humanities leader.
Jenny De Groot, a children’s librarian on Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, reads some of her favorite books while sharing how her remote community found ways to connect during the pandemic. Dr. Chuck Fluharty, founder, President, and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), explores the future of rural and urban communities through a public humanities lens.
Adrienne Kennedy, a climate activist and organizer from south Lumberton, North Carolina, talks about what environmental justice looks like for her after Hurricane Matthew destroyed her home. Dr. Joseph Campana, director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Rice University, explores ways the humanities can help us process relentless patterns of climate catastrophe.
Carol Ann Carl, a storyteller from Pohnpei Island in the Federated States of Micronesia, talks about how she uses poetry to advocate for historically marginalized communities, and two-term US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey describes how poetry can articulate acts of civic engagement.
Teaching, learning, listening, and reflecting–this is just a snapshot of the work humanities councils are doing this month and all year long.
Given the upheaval and tragic losses of the pandemic, among so many other unprecedented events that have since materialized, it makes sense that our ideas about civic tenets like community, responsibility, and involvement are changing.
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?”
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
More than anything else, the humanities inspire empathy. The disciplines and tools allow you to see the world from someone else’s perspective. That’s more important than ever now, especially when we are physically distant.
Last week, we spoke with Oregon Humanities Executive Director Adam Davis, Delaware Humanities Deputy Director and Senior Program Officer Ciera Fisher, and Humanities Montana Program Officer Samantha Dwyer about their recently launched virtual programs to gather their tips for making community conversations, Zoom calls, and other online discussion programs work for their states.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, learn about the experiences, contributions, cultures, and histories of the Hispanic community in the United States through a variety of public humanities programs hosted by or conducted by the state humanities council community.