Humanities Moments
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…
Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa

Things Don't Have To Be The Way They've Always Been

Gabriela Lopez, 21, Texas A&M University Undergraduate Student

Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands was one of the assigned texts in my U.S. Mexico Border class this semester. In this book, Anzaldua writes about borders she encounters between herself and men, other cultures, and even her own culture as a homosexual Mexican-American woman from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She expresses a deeply planted love for her…
Superheroes

The Power of Superheroes

Jonathan Lethem, novelist

In this podcast excerpt with National Humanities Center Director Robert D. Newman, award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem discusses how he came to understand of the power of fiction in our lives through the short-lived Marvel comic book series Omega The Unknown. Lethem describes how the unconventional storytelling in this comic book, focusing on the…
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…
Civil rights leaders marching in Washington, D.C.

Eyes on the Prize

Kamille Bostick, Vice President, Education Programs, Levine Museum of the New South

Kamille Bostick shares the moment when she first saw the PBS documentary Eyes on the Prize and discusses how the revelations of that film history have contributed to her career and her long interest in history, especially the lives and accomplishments of African Americans.Seeing herself reflected in pictures and stories of African American history…

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.

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