Join New America and the National Humanities Center at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 for a provocative conversation and a series of short presentations that explore the state of the humanities in the digital age—a time in which technological tools are both advancing scholarship and becoming key subjects of critical inquiry about their impact on society.
Free speech, unfettered inquiry, civility, trigger warnings, safe spaces, academic values. These terms increasingly fill headlines reporting on debates and incidents occurring on today's university campuses. What constitutes a healthy university environment and what currently threatens that health? What role should the National Humanities Center play in this significant, and often contentious, conversation?Wednesday, June 6, 2018
The Free Library of Philadelphia
“Sentience” features work by Raleigh artist Adam Cohen whose paintings and drawings invite the viewer to recognize emotional connections to others through visual depictions that “stretch the truth.” As Cohen says of the works on display: “We are drawn to particular pieces of art for the same reason we’re drawn to other people (and animals, for that matter): an empathic emotional connection. A dissolving of the borders between us. A recognition of another’s sentience—their capacity to feel, to suffer—which is, in fact, the basis of all culture and communities.”
January 2 – May 25, 2018
Artist Reception: Saturday, January 27, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
The trustees and staff of the NHC mourn the passing of Steven Marcus, one of the Center's founders, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. He was 89. Steven was instrumental in the conception and realization of the Center, and his intellectual leadership and continuous devotion helped nurture and guide the Center for most of the past 40+ years. Beyond his importance to the Center, Steven Marcus was an influential literary critic and professor at Columbia University where he taught from 1956 until 1994. His work on nineteenth-century literature and culture, including over 200 publications, continues to shape thinking in the field.
The National Humanities Center is pleased to announce the appointment of 39 Fellows for the academic year 2018–19. These leading scholars will come to the Center from 15 US states, as well as from Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. These newly appointed Fellows will constitute the forty-first class of resident scholars to be admitted since the Center opened in 1978. Robert D. Newman, president and director of the National Humanities Center, said, “These scholars are conducting vitally important work across a wide range of humanistic fields. We are delighted to provide them support and look forward to their arrival.”
The NHC is pleased to announce a $1,147,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a new initiative to provide residential fellowships for a dozen scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) over the next three years. These fellowships will allow four HBCU scholars per year to pursue individual research projects and take part in the Center’s intellectual community. “Over the past forty years, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has consistently been one of the NHC’s leading supporters,” said President and Director Robert D. Newman. “We are especially gratified that they’ve chosen to fund this important initiative addressing a crucial need.”
In the seventeenth century, the notion of the infinite universe was so controversial that believers could be burned at the stake. Today, however, the concept of infinity is commonplace, integrated into science and math curricula, and used as a metaphor to describe the inconceivable. In this podcast, Fellow John H. Smith traces the shifting understandings of the infinite across the long eighteenth century. His project ultimately locates the infinite at an interdisciplinary crossroads, demonstrating the interconnectedness of the sciences and the humanities.
Georgia’s antebellum state capitol, Milledgeville, was also home to the state mental hospital, an institution founded in 1842 which eventually became the largest asylum in the world. Fellow Mab Segrest is at work on a project considering how the hospital’s history reveals the relationships between psychiatry and white settler colonialism. In this podcast, she discusses the social function of mental hospitals in the South. At the nexus of U.S. psychiatry and the emergence of racism, the history of the Milledgeville asylum has broad and urgent implications for today’s mental health facilities and their treatment of patients.
This panel discussion, held Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the New York Public Library, is part of the Humanities Moments project, an initiative created by the National Humanities Center to explore the intersection between the humanities and transformative moments in our individual and public lives.