In clear and compelling terms, Bart D. Ehrman recounts the long history of the afterlife, from the Epic of Gilgamesh to the writings of Augustine, focusing especially on the teachings of Jesus and his early followers. He discusses ancient guided tours of heaven and hell, in which a living person observes the sublime blessings of heaven for those who are saved and the horrifying torments of hell for the damned.
Organized around timeless themes such as the power of fortune and human will, the pain of misbegotten love, the tricks we play on one another, and the importance of virtue, The Decameron’s tales form a mosaic that has influenced writers for centuries and created a lasting document about the vibrancy of life juxtaposed against the suffering caused by the Black Death.
Virtual Book Club: In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love
In an instant, Joseph Luzzi became both a widower and a first-time father. In the aftermath of unthinkable tragedy, Luzzi relied on the support of his Italian immigrant family to grieve and care for his infant daughter. But it wasn’t until he turned to the Divine Comedy—a poem he had devoted his life to studying and teaching—that he learned how to resurrect his life, passing from his own grief-stricken Inferno through the Purgatory of healing, and ultimately stepping into the Paradise of rediscovered love.
Cara Robertson (Fellow 2004–05; 2005–06) discusses one of the most famous trials in American history, offering not only a detailed account of events but providing a window into life in America’s Gilded Age, showcasing its most deeply held convictions and its most troubling social anxieties.
The NHC hosted a public conversation on Coastal Thinking led by four leading scholars of environmental humanities and science in a discussion of coastlines and cultures in context of climate breakdown, with a focus on their experiences of the diversity of humanities and science approaches to engaging with the histories and futures of communities shaped by water.
This unique three-day summit of scholars and experts from across the country featured a dynamic intersection between discussion, presentations, and exhibitions, grounded with practical site excursions. Beyond Despair intended to foster cooperation, impact the field of environmental humanities, and launch dialogue that has the potential to change how environmental issues are taught.
“Environmental Humanities at the Crossroads of Climate Change”: A Panel Moderated by Robert D. Newman
This scholarly roundtable, featuring Center Fellows in conversation with NHC President and Director Robert D. Newman, explored the important role for humanists in ongoing public discourse about climate change. Touching on topics such as environmental justice and indigenous peoples, the economic history and lasting legacies of deforestation in Latin America, and the shift in demand for fossil fuels to support global military conflicts, these scholars discussed how the human element must be accounted for as we struggle to shape climate policies for the twenty-first century.
In the closing months of World War II and its aftermath, how did Italians come to terms with their recent history? How did they go about remembering and/or distancing themselves from the legacies of Fascism? In this scholarly conversation, Fellows Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi and Mia Fuller discuss how Italians contended with these questions.
Since first coming to prominence with his Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on the My Lai massacre and its subsequent cover-up during the Vietnam War, Seymour “Sy” Hersh has remained one of our nation's most important investigative journalists. Hersh recently published his tenth book, Reporter: A Memoir, in which he reflects on his long career as a journalist, shares behind-the-scenes accounts of the people and events who were central to his most important stories, and reminds us again of the vital importance of a free press.
Tania Munz, vice president for scholarly programs, recently presented a five-minute talk at RTP180, a monthly showcase for organizations in NC’s Research Triangle Park. In her talk, “Nerds in the Woods, or Why the Humanities Matter,” Munz discussed the Center's role in support of advanced humanities research and the ways this research contributes not only to researchers' specific academic fields but to broader questions and concerns.