From stagecoaches and trains to buses, cars, and planes, Traveling Black explores when, how, and why racial restrictions took shape and brilliantly portrays what it was like to live with them. It also recounts the many forms of resistance deployed in the prolonged fight for freedom of movement across the United States.
Zimbabwean poet and scholar Tsitsi Ella Jaji (NHC Fellow, 2017–18) discusses and reads selections from Mother Tongues: Poems, her award-winning second book of verse, in which she explores our relationships with language, from the first words we learn to the vows we swear, examining how generations of love and loss are inscribed in our every utterance.
Demonstrating the conflicts between international conservation, nature tourism, decolonization, and national sovereignty, Our Gigantic Zoo explores the legacy of Bernhard Grzimek, Europe’s greatest wildlife conservationist, who portrayed himself as a second Noah, called on a sacred mission to protect the last vestiges of paradise for all humankind.
What becomes of humanities majors after they finish the degree? How might colleges and universities assist them in the transition? Join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Humanities Center for a conversation about these issues that features the perspectives of both academia and industry.
November 2021–May 2022
The National Humanities Center is pleased to present a series of engaging monthly virtual talks featuring recently published books by NHC Fellows on a variety of topics.
When we refer to “the international scientific community,” what do we mean? In this Scholar-to-Scholar talk, Lorraine Daston (NHC Fellow 2021–22) discusses how scientists began developing international collaborations and organizations in the latter half of the nineteenth century—the era of globe-spanning empire, telegraph networks, steamship lines, and world expositions. This international scientific governance has endured—and has created binding agreements that survived wars, revolutions, decolonization, and radical shifts in research agendas over more than a century.
The National Humanities Center is cosponsoring the 2021 Stowe Prize celebration honoring Princeton University professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own (2020). Dr. Glaude is the seventh recipient of the Stowe Prize, which recognizes the author of a distinguished book of general adult fiction or nonfiction whose written work illuminates a critical social issue in the tradition of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
April 7–22, 2021 | Artificial intelligence has infiltrated our daily lives—in the ways we conduct business, govern, provide healthcare and security, and communicate. The large-scale cultural and societal implications of these changes—and the ethical questions they raise—pose a serious challenge as we embrace a future increasingly shaped by the implementation of AI technology. In Our Image included a series of virtual events—presentations, conversations, webinars, film screenings, and an art exhibition—highlighting perspectives from leading humanists, scientists, engineers, artists, writers, and software company executives collectively advancing inquiry into key emerging questions.
What are the reasonable boundaries and expectations that students should expect from their mentors? And what obligations are owed to those who share their knowledge and experience? Looking at traditions from the ancient world to the modern era, these three scholars will discuss the nature of mentorship in different cultural contexts and how the concept of mentorship continues to resonate in contemporary classrooms.
Catherine M. Cole reveals how the voices and visions of artists in South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo can help us see what otherwise evades perception from the injustices produced by apartheid and colonialism. Examining works by contemporary performing artists Brett Bailey, Faustin Linyekula, Gregory Maqoma, and others, Cole demonstrates how the arts are “helping to conjure, anticipate, and dream a world that is otherwise.”