Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

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by Edward Kinman, age 59, Professor of Geography and Coordinator of the Virginia Geographic Alliance
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Walking the cobble-stone streets of a Bolivian village, I witnessed how a new clinic in a medically underserved area hadn’t made much of an impact. I was visiting a remote outpost to better understand the challenges in promoting health in poor Latin American communities. People come here only as a last resort because of the relative high costs and they are suspicious and reluctant to enter a facility staffed by foreigners. Only two came to see the doctor during the three days we were there. Likewise, latrines build by the clinic hadn’t…

by Stephen Kidd, Executive Director, National Humanities Alliance
Calligrapher at the 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Stephen Kidd, Executive Director of the National Humanities Alliance, explains how his involvement with several projects during his time at the Smithsonian illuminated the powerful role of the humanities in cultivating cross-cultural community. One project, which focused on food cultures, celebrated culinary legacies as the owner of a New York Jewish delicatessen passed down the business to an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. Another project considered how the AIDS quilt fostered a sense of community in the midst of a public health…
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