News
31 Jul 2020
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Interview with endawnis Spears on Land Acknowledgment, Native Communities and the Role of the Humanities Today

Humanities organizations have extraordinary power in the way that they frame not only our shared and distinct histories in the United States, but also imagining and shaping our collective future, and this includes Indigenous futures. Those of us engaged in humanities work have an opportunity to model what institutional equity looks like by creating long term initiatives that quantify and measure equitable representation within our institutions while also investing in programs that foster career pathways for young Native people, making it explicitly clear that humanities work can be a place of empowerment where they can shape the narratives about their own cultures and communities. Read more from endawnis here.

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10 Jul 2020
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Interview with Poet DaMaris B. Hill on the Role of the Humanities Today

The humanities have a central role in moving our country and society forward. In addition to promoting and contextualizing art, people that work in the humanities must contextualize what it means to be human in a time and place like this. The humanist’s job is to explain the creative and intellectual intersections of human experience within a historical era.

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19 Jun 2020
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Interview with Keith Simmons, Florida Humanities Communications Director

Our objective isn’t to assume that we have all the answers; we want to work together with libraries, museums, historical societies, scholars, journalists, activists, and fellow citizens to celebrate fundamental dignity; collectively challenge the structures and issues that stand in the way of equality; and promote a true common good which is consistent with our founding principles.

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16 Jun 2020
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Racial Violence, Inequity, and the Role of the Public Humanities

When I wrote my President’s message on my first day on the job just a little over a month ago, I included one of the Federation’s guiding principles: “The humanities strengthen the civic, cultural, and social fabric of society by fostering understanding and promoting an engaged citizenry.” I reiterate it now as we see our nation urgently needs learning, understanding, and healing. Today we also see the vital importance and evidence of an engaged citizenry across the country.

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15 May 2020
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Interview with Phoebe Stein, New Federation President

It’s been exactly two weeks since we welcomed Phoebe Stein as the new Federation President so we wanted to catch her (in between all the Zoom meetings!) to see how she is doing, what it feels like to begin her leadership during a pandemic, her thoughts about the organization and humanities community as a whole, and finally whether she’s a virtual coffee break or happy hour kind of person!

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Humanities At Home: Watch. Documentaries, Digital Shorts, Virtual Theater, and Festivals

Extend your documentary repertoire with several unique offerings from state humanities councils! Films from a wide range of topics such as Responding to COVID, the Veteran Experience, Women’s History and UNLADYLIKE2020, Virtual Theater, Hoosier Film Festival and more, can be found and viewed by just clicking a button. Let us know your thoughts by tagging us on social @HumFed and using #HumanitiesAtHome.

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Interview with Delaware Humanities on Virtual Program: Distant Discussions

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.  If I’m young with no pre-existing conditions, no kids, no elderly relatives, I may need elucidation of what this situation is like for those individuals, and thus why it’s important for me to socially distance, wear a mask, and wash my hands.  The humanities are the best way to give people that alternative point of view, which could help save lives. Read the full interview with Delaware Humanities Deputy Director Ciera Fisher.

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Interview with Oregon Humanities on Virtual Program: Connect in Place

COVID has illuminated so much of what is already in place and what isn’t in place. And it has raised questions that are clearly rooted in the daily and long-term realities of people’s lives. In this moment, we’re trying to show up as a calm, encouraging, and reliable partner in creating opportunities for people all over Oregon to feel a strong sense of interpersonal connection and shared imagination. Read the full interview with Oregon Humanities Executive Director Adam Davis.

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Interview with Humanities Montana on Gather Round / Montana Conversations Virtual Programs

I think the humanities shift our perspective and give us a little bit of distance from current events in a way that lets us engage more. That sounds a little paradoxical, but I’ve found that focusing on stats, curves, protests, and antibody testing can be both overwhelming and narrowing in our understanding and response. By asking questions like, “What lessons and stories from this pandemic are worth passing to future generations?” we seem to be able to open up and talk more. The humanities help us move through fear toward a more encompassing understanding of the variety of experience.

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What Our Members Are Saying: Virtual Community Conversations

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, Connect in Place (Oregon), Distant Discussions (DE), and Gather Round / Montana Conversations (Montana) to gather their tips for making community conversations, Zoom calls, and other online discussion programs work for their states.

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01 May 2020
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Interview with Esther Mackintosh

After a career dedicated to serving, strengthening and supporting the state humanities councils, Federation President Esther Mackintosh officially retired as of April 30, 2020. The Federation staff was honored to toast to her retirement and to sit down and ask her a few last questions!

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