Humanities Moments

Items in the Teacher Advisory Council Collection

Remembering the Music
When I was in elementary school I didn’t know anything about racial conflict or even recognize there were racial differences between the kids at my school. My classmates were just friends or people I went to school with. Everyone looked different,…

9/11 Shaped My Career
I was a brand new college freshman getting ready to attend my Political Science class that started at 8:45am on September 11, 2001. I heard the news on the radio when I first woke up and I thought it wasn't real. I turned on the TV and still couldn't…

The Role of the Individual versus an Intellectual Aristocracy
Choosing a Humanities Moment was initially a challenging task. Over the last few years working with the organization PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization), I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the humanities, liberal arts and a…

Eyes on the Mockingbird
I grew up in a very small town in rural Wisconsin. When I looked at my classmates it was like looking in a mirror. Because of that, I never realized that there were many people who were facing hardships because of their minority status and people who…

Well-Behaved Women
My moment focuses on the fact that African American women have been using their words as Political Resistance.

The humanities contributed to this moment, because my ancestors and myself are using words to make sense of the world and our place in…

Baseball, Jackie Robinson, and Racial Identity Formation
As I grew up in rural South Carolina in the 1980s, baseball was my favorite hobby and pastime. For most of my 7 year Dixie league/recreational league baseball career (ages 5 to 12), my dad was my coach. I don’t remember watching baseball on…

Such a Short Time to Stay Here
I am not a churchgoer or a believer, and thus, I have always been left with questions about the deeper meaning of life that could not be easily answered through traditional authorities. Instead, I have had to search for ways to make meaning myself. …

Historical Perspectives
I was born in Boston and raised in New England. I attended an elite, all-girls, private school in New England, which was established in 1854 with the mission of turning out highly educated, capable young ladies, even before college was an option for…

How I found humanity in a dark cave
The most literal definition of the word humanities as always fascinated me. What could be cooler than getting to the very crux of what it means to be human by studying all the unique, beautiful, and awe inspiring things humanity has created? …

How MTV Helped End Apartheid
I first discovered what being a global citizen meant when I was just thirteen and a part of the MTV Generation. MTV debuted in 1981, but in rural Virginia I didn’t get my MTV until 1986. It was the era of the super group. The famine relief charity,…

Why I Read YA
I was born and grew up in rural Southern Appalachia. Books and stories were my pathway out of the holler and into a world of hope and possibility. As a child and teen, I read and listened voraciously, and those stories found in books helped to save…

Nola
My Humanities Moment occurred in 2005, the year that hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. I lived in New Orleans pre-and-post Katrina and lost my house to the “Great Deluge.” I helplessly watched 85% of New Orleans proper fill up with water…

“Fern Hill”: the fleeting, eternal magnificence of Innocence
I could do several Humanities Hours out of Humanities Moments – there are so many passages and ideas that have animated my imagination. I first find myself drawn to the heart-wrenching climax of Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote, but to describe that…

Scottish Highlands
I've always loved to travel, and one of my favorite parts is getting to have a connection to the place that in our classrooms we refer to in the abstract. It makes the history more tangible, real, and often provides perspective that we don't get from…

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

Humans Give Meaning to the World
While discussing N. Scott Momaday's novel A House Made of Dawn, Professor Bowden introduced a new concept - geosophy. It was an unexpected moment during an undergraduate geography class that ultimately opened mental doors and windows to the world.…

The Power of Myth
Ron Eisenman shares how a PBS television series encouraged him to pursue his passions and turn to the humanities to help him make sense of the world around him. His engagement with "The Power of Myth" helped to connect seemingly disparate cultural…

Coming Into My Feminist Consciousness
My Humanities Moment occurred during my Junior year in college, when I attended an evening session with Gerda Lerner, the author of The Creation of Feminist Consciousness and one of the founders of the academic field called women’s history. I read…