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 life-long companion. Every important milestone has its own humanities “thing” – a poem, a painting, a song, a place. The actual “thing” itself is relatively unimportant. What matters are the emotions they teach and the people with which they help you connect. Thus, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s poetry is special to me because it helped me fall in love for the first time. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s “Hombres necios” guided me through my first adventures with feminism. Beethoven taught me to understand my own pain and sorrow during my cliché, teenage existential turmoil. For me, the power of the humanities is its ability to reach people, connecting us and teaching us to appreciate our differences.

– Katerina Santiesteban (PhD Candidate in Spanish)