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.
Rachel Jones Schaevitz is a filmmaker and scholar whose work focuses on using media and the humanities to enact social change. She earned her doctorate in media and communications from Temple University, where her research explored how moving images are capable of transcending differences in language and culture. She currently teaches and works with Carolina Public Humanities, creating opportunities to share the work of humanists with the broader public. Join Rachel on September 28, 2017 for a discussion of her work as a filmmaker and media researcher. She appears as part of the Conversations with Scholars series presented by the Southwest Regional branch of the Durham County Library and the National Humanities Center.
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.
How do scholars become fascinated by their subjects and what is it like when they make a new discovery? How does the process of research, analysis, writing, and teaching change their perspectives of the world? Join Professor Jocelyn Olcott of Duke University on September 21, 2017 for a discussion of her new book and about her journey as a scholar of transnational women’s history. Olcott appears as a part of the Conversations with Scholars series presented by the Southwest Regional branch of the Durham County Library and the National Humanities Center.
Leaders from fellowship granting and funding entities gathered for a summit to discuss fellowships and fellowship programs on September 13 and 14, 2017 at the National Humanities Center. This meeting follows a similar gathering in Washington, D.C. in December of 2016 organized in response to growing concerns expressed by many in the humanities about expectations for assessment of research and accountability imposed through sometimes ill-fitting metrics.
Members of the Center’s 2017–18 Teacher Advisory Council gathered for a two-day orientation and planning meeting on September 7 and 8, 2017. Selected from schools in twelve states, the Teacher Advisory Council is a 14-member board that supports the Education Programs of the National Humanities Center for a one-year term of service. Chosen to represent multiple disciplines in the humanities, these teacher leaders accept an active role in the development, evaluation, and promotion of NHC materials and projects.
The National Humanities Center has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of a new program designed to improve teaching about the Vietnam War. The grant, totaling $158,283, will help fund a two-week, interdisciplinary institute for high school teachers to be held at the NHC next summer. The summer institute is one of several initiatives currently underway at the National Humanities Center to promote a deeper understanding of this complex period in Cold War-era history.
The National Humanities Center announces 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.
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.
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 National Humanities Center is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its staff: Olympia Friday, Lynn Miller, and Julie Ungaro. “Olympia, Lynn, and Julie are not only seasoned professionals but warm and interesting people whose skills and knowledge are certain to make the Center an even stronger institution,” said Robert Newman, President and Director of the Center.
The National Humanities Center announces the appointment of 34 Fellows for the academic year 2017-18. These leading scholars will come from 14 states, Greece, and the United Kingdom. Chosen from 630 applicants, they represent humanistic scholarship in English language and literature; environmental studies; European languages and literature; history; history of science; medieval studies; music history and musicology; philosophy; religion; sociology; South Asian studies; and theater, dance, and performance studies.
The National Humanities Center will host the Triangle Digital Humanities Network Spring Colloquium on April 7, 2017. The event will bring together digital humanists from the Triangle area to make connections and to learn about digital research currently underway in local graduate programs. The event will feature brief research presentations by area digital humanities graduate students and information about ongoing collaborative digital projects being conducted by the Center.
Spring 2017 America in Class® Webinars to Feature Sessions on Islam in America, John F. Kennedy, the Poetry of Rita Dove, More
The National Humanities Center has announced its program of spring 2017 professional development webinars for humanities teachers covering a wide range of topics including the cultural history of Islam in America, television and the presidency of John F. Kennedy, understanding the Black Lives Matter movement in its historical context, the poetry of Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove, and cultivating philosophical thinking with students.
Spring 2017 Events Include Second Conference on Rock ‘n’ Roll, Talks on Shakespeare’s Othello, Oysters, Viking Art
The National Humanities Center has announced its schedule of public lectures, exhibitions, and other events which touch on a wide range of topics. Events include lectures on Shakespeare’s Othello, portrayals of slavery and freedom across the Atlantic world, the history of the industrial oyster, and Viking art.
National Humanities Center to Partner with Vietnam National University to Develop Digital Learning Resources
The NHC will partner with Vietnam National University in developing digital instructional resources that allow for a deeper understanding of the American Vietnamese War. This initiative, supported by a $175,000 grant from the Fostering Innovation through Research, Science, and Technology Project for Vietnam, will bring together a team of Vietnamese and American educators, scholars, and technology experts to create digital tools that examine the political, social, cultural, economic, and historical complexities surrounding the conflict.
The National Humanities Center and the Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System are seeking participants for a new program for military Veterans and their families in eastern North Carolina. “Reading Our Stories: Exploring the Veteran’s Experience through Literature,” will give Veterans an opportunity to more deeply reflect on their service—what it means to them and to the country—by examining and discussing literary texts. Groups will meet in Raleigh, Durham, and Greenville beginning in January 2017.
The second installment of the public program Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll will be held at the Center on Friday, March 3, 2017. In conversations among another remarkable group of musicians, novelists, and scholars, we will explore the surprising reciprocity between the apparently irreverent form of rock and roll and serious literature. Novel Sounds II features panels on rock music’s roots in the ballad tradition as well as the influence of rock culture on contemporary fiction.
The National Humanities Center announces a new public program entitled Novel Sounds: American Fiction in the Age of Rock and Roll, to be held at the Center October 14-15, 2016. This conference provides a forum for examining rock and roll as a literary form of expression crucially shaping our national heritage. Panelists will explore the surprising reciprocity between the apparently irreverent form of rock and roll and serious literature. Although the birth of rock dates to the mid-1950s, Novel Sounds examines the relationship as it has been developing since the emergence of the ballad form itself.
On Monday, June 13, 2016, the National Humanities Center and Flyleaf Books were pleased to present best-selling author David Denby. Denby is a staff writer and former film critic for The New Yorker, and his reviews and essays have appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, and New York magazine (where he was film critic from 1978 to 1998), among other places.
The Center announces the appointment of Anthony E. Kaye as Vice President for Scholarly Programs, effective July 1, 2016. Robert D. Newman, President and Director, pointed to Kaye’s vision and energy as qualities that distinguished him: “Tony has a wonderful sense not only of what the Center means to scholars and their research but also an appreciation for the possibilities generated by its intellectual community.”
On March 31, 2016, William “Bro” Adams, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, spoke at length to Fellows and Trustees of the Center about the state of humanities research, teaching, and public engagement in the United States. Reflecting on the NEH’s founding in 1965 and the work it has supported ever since, he also discussed the challenges facing humanists and the liberal arts, in general, in the twenty-first century.
Among all the classic Broadway shows of the 1930s, a fair number stand out by engaging directly with the New Deal politics of a turbulent decade. Why did the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart take this leftist turn, and how should one read the great American songs that emerged?
On Thursday, April 21, NHC President and Director Robert Newman will join Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC to give a talk on “Humanities Moments and the Heroic.” Newman will discuss the humanities’ role in a well-rounded education, their importance inside and outside the university setting, and the contributions that they make to addressing important challenges of the twenty-first century. Given the ever-increasing emphasis on science and technology, what role do the humanities play in helping us confront the challenges we face in our modern world — globalization, climate change, terrorism?