Humanities Moments

Items in the Graduate Student Residents 2020 Collection

My First Humanities Moment
When I was in fourth grade, I read the book Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. This was the first time I read a book for fun, not because it was an assignment for school, and it fundamentally changed my life. I remember not only how much I loved the…

The Magic of the Humanities
When I think of my love for the humanities, I think of magic. For me, the humanities offer a glimpse into other realms, worlds filled with wonder, excitement and adventure. Perhaps nothing encapsulates the pure joy that the humanities represent to me…

This was your Grandfather's...
Around New Year’s Eve 2017/18, I was in Brooklyn visiting my sister and brother in law. There was a pretty significant blizzard, and we were completely snowed in, so I picked up the novel I had brought with me on the off chance that I would have time…

Linda Hogan's Women Warriors
What first drew me to Native American literature and studies was a Native American fiction class in my Master’s program. Before this class, I hadn’t read any Native authors outside of Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and the occasional anthologized…

Shakespeare at Winedale and the Winedale Historical Center, near Round Top, Texas
Tucked away into Central Texas' Hill Country is the repurposed ghost town of Winedale. Built by German immigrants in the nineteenth century, it nowadays features several creaky homes, a stagecoach inn, a single-room school, and a couple of ancient…

The Power Public Knowledge has for the Humanities
I grew up an hour and a half northwest of San Antonio, Texas in a small, rural town called Medina. Medina is home to one school (K-12 campus), about five stop signs, one gas station, two restaurants, and three churches. When I was younger, the town…

Reflections on the Banks of the Tiber
Like so many significant events throughout the history of the Western world, my humanities moment begins on the banks of the River Tiber in Rome. I had just crossed the Ponte Sisto bridge and was standing at the crosswalk to Piazza Trilussa in the…

Night
I came across Night by Elie Wiesel while in middle school. I found it at my school library and the barbed wire and shadow of a boy on the cover immediately caught my attention. I was captivated from the very first page and read the entire book that…

Chicano Park
I had been in San Diego for less than a week and was still unsure of bus routes. Having successfully navigated the trolley-to-bus transfer from La Mesa to the Gaslight District downtown, I figured I was close enough to walk. If it were a different…

A Mountain of Faith
It was the middle of nowhere—nothing but sand, the occasional old car or rusted out piece of machinery, a strange lake known as the Salton Sea, and in the distance a rising mound of color that glimmered in the desert sun. In 2010, with encouragement…

Neruda and the Shimmering Lives of Lifeless Things
Reflecting on growing up as a clumsy child with two rambunctious brothers, two phrases immediately come to mind, burnt into my memory like a brand from their ceaseless repetition: "make your bed" and "they're only things." One of these ("make your…

How Maps of Time Made me Rethink the Significance of Education
My Humanities Moment was when I first read David Christian's Maps of Time during my 2nd year of grad school. It made me interested in some of the big questions that I have never thought are important and compelled me to converse about these topics…

Identity and Its Development in our Everyday Lives
I am a second-generation Turkish American. However, how does this hyphenated identity impact the daily interactions I have in society? When taking an intercultural communication course, I was introduced to Boylorn and Orbe's Critical Autoethnography…

A Shared Poem
I discovered the poetry of William Blake on a bookshelf in San Francisco. Set beside the works of Charles Baudelaire, and other books I’ve long forgotten, Blake’s poems had rested on the shelf in my grandparents’ home for years. I was unfamiliar with…

Not the Gay Swan Lake
Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake is a masterpiece that changed the way I view classical ballet as a queer person. Bourne’s reimagining of the classic story, Swan Lake, replaces all of the female swans with their male counterparts. Instead of classical…

Bedtime Stories
My humanities moment is actually a series of memories related to reading children's books. The memory of numerous bedtime stories, library visits, and experiences of making my own books about the children's book are still vivid in my mind. I enjoyed…

Humanities, My Life-Long Companion
After spending some time searching for my very own, singular, life-altering "humanities moment" that set me on my chosen path, I came to the conclusion that no such moment exists. Instead, my relationship to the humanities is everything, it's my…

The “Infinitely Human”: Life Writings, Locks of Hair and Lived History
Like fellow humanists, I struggled to pick a single moment to describe and share with you. However, while delving into my corpus (life writings – mostly diaries, autobiographies and memoirs - from the Franco-German borderland, Alsace-Lorraine, at the…

Beowulf Brought Me to Medieval Studies
Looking back, I can pinpoint many moments that poignantly mark my path toward medieval studies, but reading Beowulf was the moment that rendered all the moments before it visible. I have loved literature all my life, a statement that is perhaps…

"To the Daughters of My Country": Humanitarian Connection across Time and Borders
In 1922, Julia Dimashqiya, founder and editor of the Beirut-based women’s magazine "The New Woman" ("Al- Mar’a Al-Jadida"), inaugurated her first issue by dedicating it to "the daughters of my country.” From our vantage point, this statement seems to…

To See Myself
My humanities moment is a novel that changed my life and informed my path as an educator and researcher. But before I expound upon it, I need to tell you my story. I was born in Brazil as the only child of my Nigerian mother, who migrated to complete…

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