Humanities Moments
Mantra-Rock Dance promotional poster featuring the Grateful Dead (1967)

Mystic Musicality

Bill Carbone, Vice President of Education, Rock and Roll Forever Foundation

A single book forever changed the way young Bill Carbone thought not only about drumming, but the world. Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart’s Drumming at the Edge of Magic illuminated the connections between spirituality and music. It also introduced Carbone to the world of ethnomusicology, or the study of music and cultures.
Hồ Chí Minh

The Ho Chi Minh and Marcus Garvey Connection

Solomon C. Williams, 38 years old, teacher of high school American Government and Economics

This seminar has been an amazing experience for me. I have always admired Ho Chi Minh. His commitment to the people of Vietnam and his efforts to free his land from colonialism is such an inspirational story. I must admit that I had never heard of the term Contested Territory before I came to this NEH two-week seminar. After much study over these two…
The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Spellbound by a Sleeper

Dave Wilson, lead singer-songwriter of bluegrass group Chatham County Line

Musician Dave Wilson describes being struck by the legacy of The Night of the Hunter, a film essentially ignored directly after its release in 1955 but celebrated by critics decades later. (In fact, in 1998 the magazine Cahiers du Cinema listed it as the second most beautiful time of all time.)
This Couldn’t Happen to Me

This Couldn’t Happen to Me

Madison Forrest, 18, student

This past year my aunt, my mother’s sister, passed away very young at age 45. Her passing devastated me and my family. The thought that kept entering my head was there’s no way this could happen to me. Tragedies, catastrophes, and other huge losses have never affected me so directly. Then, in one of my English classes we began to read a book Beyond…
Torso with Hands on Hips, 1994, by Nancy Fried, American, b. 1945

Contingent Bodies: Encountering the DisAbility Project

Ann Fox, professor of English at Davidson College

Ann Fox describes her first encounter with The DisAbility Project, a St. Louis-based performance group. Humor, skits, and monologues reflecting the experiences of disabled people helped her understand disability politics, and realize the pleasure and creativity possible in bodily variation. Curator’s note: Read Ann Fox’s essay, “To Be Rather than To…

About Humanities Moments

The humanities are everywhere — so deeply woven into our daily lives that we often miss them. Sometimes, though, the humanities can surprise you. A book you can’t put down. A photograph that haunts you. A song you can’t get out of your head. And from that moment on, you find yourself changed. The Humanities Moments Project was created to collect personal stories about encounters with the humanities. The stories on this site are presented as submitted, capturing the experiences of those who've shared them in their own words — reflecting their individual views, interpretations, and conclusions. Together, they highlight the diverse and powerful ways the humanities are able to teach, inspire, and enrich our lives.

The humanities are everywhere. But they are so interwoven into our daily lives that we often miss them. Sometimes, though, they surprise you. A book you can’t put down. A photograph that haunts you. A song you can’t get out of your head. The Humanities Moments Project was created to collect stories about how the humanities touch us, inspire us, and enrich our lives.

Read More About the Project

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