Blake Wilson: “Poetry and Music in Early Modern Italy”

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.

Douglas Campbell: “Assessing the Historical Accuracy of the Book of Acts”

Surviving accounts of the foundation of the early Christian church are extremely limited, leaving scholars with few sources beyond the narrative found in the fifth book of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles. And, for centuries, questions have persisted about the book of Acts itself: Who wrote it and for whom? What was the document’s purpose? And, how historically reliable is the account it provides?

Erin Beeghly, “The Ethics and Epistemology of Stereotypes”

Most people would agree that judging people based on generalizations related to their skin color or gender, religion or nationality is wrong. Yet ​this is a common practice in all societies​​. So the question arises, is it ever okay to use stereotypes? And, if so, when?

Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, “Art and Religious Instruction in Late Ancient and Medieval Asia”

Beyond their inspirational and devotional power, what other functions do religious works of art serve? From antiquity through the medieval periods, ​​practitioners ​of many religious traditions ​throughout central Asia used ​works of art to teach​ followers religious histories, parables, and central tenets of their faith.​ How does this use inform our appreciation of these works and what can we learn from examining these religious practices?

Tatiana Seijas, “Indigenous Trade in the Early Modern Southwest and Mexico”

For centuries before the arrival of Europeans, trade routes connected the various peoples who lived throughout the American Southwest and Mexico, and trade among these groups remained an important source of economic vitality and cultural exchange even after the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. In later years, these routes formed the basis of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, connecting merchants and communities from Mexico City to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Miguel La Serna, “The Rise and Fall of the Shining Path”

Beginning as a small group of intellectual ideologues, the Shining Path grew to become a significant insurgency movement whose violent practices resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Peruvians in the late twentieth century. However, to understand the Shining Path’s history and its influence, it is important to understand its origins and the motivations of the individuals who formed its leadership.

Robert D. Newman, “Rage and Beauty: Celebrating Complexity, Democracy and the Humanities”

On October 5, 2016, NHC director Robert D. Newman delivered a keynote address as a part of the ongoing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Speaker Series at North Carolina Central University. ​In his remarks Newman touched on events as seemingly disparate as the workings of the Continental Congress and the social media origins of the Black Lives Matter movement and discussed the ways that the humanities help us understand the world, relate to one another, and come to terms with the most profound experiences and questions — on the nature of beauty, the search for justice, and the meaning of life in the face of horrific violence and our own mortality.

Jakobi Williams, “​The Black Panthers, Here and Abroad”

​Since its founding over 50 years ago, perceptions of the Black Panther Party have varied widely, often shaped by misinformation—about the Party’s motivations, its relations with other organizations, its influence in the U.S. and around the world. In this conversation, ​historian Jakobi Williams discusses ​the challenges facing scholars in reconstructing the history of the Black Panther Party, the common misconceptions that continue to shape views of the movement and its leaders, and the ways that the organization helped inspire resistance groups in other countries.