Since the early modern era, history has been largely viewed through an anthropocentric lens, skewing towards the involvement of humans. David Christian (NHC Fellow 2006-07) flips this narrative by zooming out to see history—specifically, Big History—on a larger scale, measured by geological and cosmological time. Bringing together fields as seemingly disparate as cosmology, anthropology, and geology, Big History offers what Christian calls “a unifying origin story” that explains our origin and place in the universe, bridging the humanities with the social sciences.
The NHC has announced the appointment of Tania Munz as VP for Scholarly Programs, effective August 1, 2017. Munz comes to the Center having most recently served as VP for Research & Scholarship at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, MO, where she oversaw the library’s fellowship program and managed its collection of over half a million monograph volumes and more than 48,000 journal titles. She previously held research and teaching positions at Northwestern University & the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.
Scholars in gender and sexuality studies have largely ignored or dismissed attempts to explain the causes of sexual deviation for a variety of reasons. In this podcast, Fellow Benjamin Kahan discusses how his work, exploring “the historical etiology of sexuality,” moves past those scholars’ dismissal of early sexuality theories in hopes of producing a fuller understanding of how contemporary attitudes and notions about sexuality developed.
Please join us June 10 & 11 for DataRescue RTP, an event organized by DataRescue Chapel Hill and the NHC. DataRescue RTP aims to preserve online government data related to housing and education programs. We are focusing on datasets identified as being at high risk for removal from online public access. While the Internet Archive has preserved copies of many government websites, it is unable to archive datasets. DataRescue events are a key piece in ensuring that these datasets are copied. The Internet Archive, DataRefuge and a consortium of research libraries hold these copies and keep them available for public access.
Non-human, post-human, anti-human. In recent years, historians, political theorists, philosophers and others have increasingly tried to think beyond an anthropocentric perspective to gain insights on a wide range of questions. But these ways of thinking have a long precedent in American fiction. In this podcast, Fellow Kate Marshall, associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, discusses how weird fiction, cosmic realism, and pseudo-science fiction have imaginatively grappled with non-human points of view from the late 19th century to the present.
The staff and trustees of the National Humanities Center mourn the passing of their colleague Anthony E. Kaye on May 14 after a long illness. He had served as the Center’s vice president of scholarly programs since July 2016.
The Humanities Moments pilot project at Weaver Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina introduces high school students to the role the humanities play in their lives. The value of the project is visible across the entire school from increasing self-understanding among students and bridging the gap between STEM and arts educators to teaching life preparedness and vital skills like critical thinking and empathy needed beyond high school.
While we often think of Renaissance-era Florence and the surrounding area as brimming with intellectual inquiry, artistic genius, and political intrigue, music and poetry were also important elements of life and to the Studia Humanitatis, the core of early modern education. In this podcast, Fellow Blake Wilson, professor of music at Dickinson College discusses his current project exploring the music and oral performance traditions of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance — how it was composed and performed as well as its relationship to other art forms in creating the rich civic and cultural life of the Renaissance.