In the wake of the American Revolution, political leaders insisted that their new republic could not survive without improved and more comprehensive public education meant to create better informed citizens. But the push for educational reform often ran afoul of local legislators and voters, who balked at the taxes needed to fund expanded systems of education. In his talk, historian Alan Taylor will discuss this intriguing irony—that republican reliance on popular sovereignty complicated efforts by elites to improve voters through education.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Alan Taylor, University of Virginia
On September 1, 1939, the British government launched a program ominously codenamed Operation Pied Piper, whereby thousands of children were evacuated from the cities to the countryside. This operation brought class conflict into the foreground, laying bare the drastic inequalities of British society, but also provided the foundations for the development of child psychoanalysis. This talk by Maud Ellman examines the impact of the evacuation crisis on psychoanalytic theories of the child, comparing these to the depiction of children in wartime fiction.
Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Maud Ellmann, University of Chicago
Featuring the work of artists Diego Camposeco, Aaron Canipe, Jing Niu, and Jina Valentine, “Melt with Ruth” offers a mix of two-dimensional works and experimental videos exploring notions of home, identity, geography, and sense of place in North Carolina. The show takes its title from the lesser-quoted phrase that follows “Look homeward Angel” in John Milton’s poem “Lycidas,” which Asheville author Thomas Wolfe appropriated for his classic 1929 autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel: “Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth.” The exhibit is presented as part of North Carolina: The New American Heartland.
September 5 – December 15, 2017
North Carolina: The New American Heartland is a multi-dimensional initiative—highlighted by a three-day gathering on September 27–29, 2017—enlisting scholars, artists, journalists, educators, policy experts, activists, community leaders, and others to critically consider North Carolina’s role as a bellwether for the nation. Through the lenses of food, music, and storytelling, the conference provided a forum for examining the state’s complex and myriad cultural identities and for exploring how the arts and humanities can help us better understand and face our shared challenges.
AN OUTRAGE is a documentary film about lynching in the American South. Filmed on location at lynching sites in six states and bolstered by the memories and perspectives of descendants, community activists, and scholars, this unusual historical documentary seeks to educate even as it serves as a hub for action to remember and reflect upon a long-hidden past. On September 19, 2017 the National Humanities Center hosted a public showing of AN OUTRAGE. After an introduction by documentarians Lance Warren and Hannah Ayers and a screening of the film, panelists led an in-depth discussion about the key issues facing educators as they engage with this content in their classrooms.
Elizabeth Mulcahy and Molly Warsh, “How to Think (and Teach) About World History in the Digital Age”
How has the study and teaching of world history been transformed by the proliferation of digital tools? In this podcast, Elizabeth Mulcahy, social studies teacher in Albemarle County, VA, and Molly Warsh, assistant professor of world history at the University of Pittsburgh, discuss the ways new technologies expand the possibilities for exploring world history, how those changes shape thinking, and the positives and negatives associated with readily accessed information.
In this wide-ranging interview with Conversation host Mitchell Lewis, National Humanities Center President Robert D. Newman discusses the significance of the humanities in everyday life, the enduring importance of humanities scholarship, and the mission of the National Humanities Center to advance humanities research, teaching, and public engagement. This program originally aired on UNC-TV's NC Channel on June 27, 2017.