Humanities Moments
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How Theology Helped Me Succeed in International Business

James Hackett, CEO, Alta Mesa Resources

In any successful international business venture, you need to understand another culture. That’s the advice that James Hackett gives to his students. In this video, he reflects on how theology school—especially the study of the Bible—prompted him to investigate the intricate connections between religion, history, and culture.
The Beatles

“Nowhere Man” in Lincoln, Nebraska

Matthew Sweet, musician based in Omaha, Nebraska

Sweet describes stumbling upon a 45 record that altered his perspective on The Beatles. More profoundly, it changed how he understood his place in the world.
The Remorse of Orestes by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1862)

The Power of Mythological Thinking

Michael Poliakoff, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni

As a teacher of classical mythology, Poliakoff explains that the challenge he presents to his students—and that myths present to contemporary readers—is to understand how such ancient stories transcend their particular contexts to embody universal lessons which can be translated across cultures and history. By using classical mythology both to…
Chimpanzee

Sharing Language, Understanding Humanity

Jeff Braden, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, NC State University

For Jeff Braden, the opportunity to join the first successful project to teach chimpanzees American Sign Language at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the 1970s shaped his philosophy on what it means to be human. By bringing together perspectives in the sciences and the humanities, Braden was able to investigate how we understand our identity and…
Dead Bird, a painting by Albert Pinkham Ryder (1890s)

From Aesthetic Shock to Ethical Awakening: How an Environmental Artist and Activist Found Purpose

Subhankar Banerjee, environmental activist, photographer, and professor at the University of New Mexico

Environmental activist, photographer, and teacher Subhankar Banerjee recounts a time, shortly after moving to New Mexico, when he walked out of his house to encounter a small dead bird lying motionless on the porch. This humble, private moment of grief, confusion, and aesthetic complexity echoed the sensations he had previously felt while viewing…

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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