Humanities Moments
Dim Sum

The Farewell: Teaching and Talking about Ethnocentrism as an Asian-American

Binh Tran (26), World History teacher

The guiding question for my Humanities Moment pertains to the most recent film that I cannot stop talking about with my peers, friends, family and strangers. As a self-described film aficionado, I typically find myself at the movie theater 2-3 times a week. I definitely appreciate the power and effect films can have on our society, ways of thinking,…
Fish on Marchmont St (photo by MS).jpg

The Fish on Marchmont Street

Mitra Sharafi, 47, legal historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

I live and teach in Madison, Wisconsin, but I usually spend my spring break on a research trip in London, England. On a cold and drizzly day in March 2019, I was walking down Marchmont Street through London's Bloomsbury neighborhood on my way to the British Library. My head was down and I was busy thinking about the documents I would request at the…
Pill

Neruda and the Shimmering Lives of Lifeless Things

Sarah (Sadie) Warren, 31, PhD Candidate, Instructor, and Digital Scholarship Associate

Reflecting on growing up as a clumsy child with two rambunctious brothers, two phrases immediately come to mind, burnt into my memory like a brand from their ceaseless repetition: "make your bed" and "they're only things." One of these ("make your bed") never failed to inspire in me a blood-boiling rage of the Sisyphean sort: after all, what was the…
Salvation Mountain

A Mountain of Faith

Victoria Machado, 30, PhD Candidate in Religion & Nature / Writing Instructor at the University of Florida

It was the middle of nowhere—nothing but sand, the occasional old car or rusted out piece of machinery, a strange lake known as the Salton Sea, and in the distance a rising mound of color that glimmered in the desert sun. In 2010, with encouragement from my religion professor, my mother and I quite literally drove across the country, roughly 2600…
Swan

Not the Gay Swan Lake

George C. Berry, 26, MFA Candidate in Dance, University of Alabama

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is a masterpiece that changed the way I view classical ballet as a queer person. Bourne’s reimagining of the classic story, Swan Lake, replaces all of the female swans with their male counterparts. Instead of classical white tutus, male swans are clad in only delicate feathery breeches, revealing their chiseled physiques 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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