Humanities Moments
Ebony Fashion Fair designer fashions, NCMA

Haute Couture: Fashion Fair and the Empowerment of the Black Community

Olympia Friday, Social Media & Strategic Marketing Coordinator, National Humanities Center

I recall flipping through Ebony magazine as a child in the 80s and often seeing pictures of Fashion Fair models. It didn’t dawn on me then how the power of fashion was being used to inspire an entire community. After seeing “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair” at the North Carolina Museum of Art, it became clear to me. I developed a…
Statue of Liberty

Placing Our Family in the Story of America

John Cho, actor

Actor John Cho shares how the humanities reveal answers to the most important questions in life. He notes his fondness of reading and how, during his childhood, the Little House on the Prairie books helped him process and understand his family’s place in America. To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships…
The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars and my Dad - Living through Leukemia in my Dad's shoes

Cheyenne, 18 years old, living in Utah, a senior in high school

Between the years of 2012-2014, the book The Fault in Our Stars written by John Green was one of the most popular books and films for teenagers. The book was such a hit Hollywood decided to make it a film, and they did a great job sticking to the original novel. This novel is about two teenagers named Hazel and Augustus going through cancer and…
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…
No such thing as silence

No Such Thing as Silence

Tereza Walsbergerová, 27, graduate student of English

I believe I was in the first year of my undergrad when I saw a video of John Cage’s 1952 composition 4’33” for the very first time. It’s been give-or-take eight years since I sat in that lecture room, but I still keep coming to that day in my thoughts, to that moment when everything fell into place for me as a future humanities scholar. I remember…

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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