Humanities Connection | WYPR

Humanities Connection

Thursday at 4:44 pm
  • Hosted by Hosted by: Maryland Humanities Executive Director Dr. Phoebe Stein

Humanities Connection explores the role of the humanities in our daily lives, and features lively reflections around topics like education, literature, health care, race, politics, religion, history, and more.

Joining Phoebe for each segment is a series of special guests, including Maryland Humanities partners, board members, and local humanists. The result is a mix of stories and conversation designed to shed light on the human experience and stimulate the intellectual curiosity of our listeners.

Archive Prior to 11/5/13

Theme music created by Brian Whaley at www.brianwhaleymusic.com

Visit Maryland Humanities to access additional resources, videos, and other dynamic content related to each segment.

Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.

What are the humanities? The humanities explore the human experience. Through the humanities, we think about who we are – our ideas, our histories, our literature, our values – and how we relate to one another. The humanities include literature, history, philosophy, archaeology, languages, theology, jurisprudence, ethics, art history, architecture, and some disciplines of the social sciences.

A Teacher’s Reflection of Maryland History Day

Apr 19, 2018

Maryland History Day, brought to you by Maryland Humanities, is much more than one day—each student spends on average more than 70 hours envisioning, researching, and fine-tuning a research project. More than 27,000 middle and high school participate in this year-long program. Maryland History Day culminates in a statewide contest, where winners advance to National History Day.  Christine Pritt, a former Maryland History Day Teacher of the Year, provides a reflection of one of the many benefits of student participation: building community. This year's Maryland History Day competition is just around the corner on April 28 at UMBC.

Our American Family at Historic Sotterley

Apr 12, 2018

Last year, Historic Sotterley, a former plantation in Southern Maryland, began the Descendants Project. They gathered information about anyone affiliated with Sotterley, whether they were enslaved, employed or otherwise associated with the site. This month, Sotterley hosts Our American Family, funded with a grant from Maryland Humanities. The event will connect existing and emerging stories of Sotterley descendants with members of the public interested in Southern Maryland’s history. Jeanne Pirtle, Education Director at Sotterley, tells us more about the project.

Catonsville Nine 50th Anniversary

Apr 5, 2018

In 1968, activists in our own backyard protested the Vietnam War in a way that would become a landmark in our nation’s history of civil disobedience. 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Catonsville Nine. Joby Taylor, Director of the Shriver Peaceworkers Fellows Program at UMBC, tells us more about the historic events in Maryland and plans to acknowledge their impact.

A Message of Gratitude

Mar 29, 2018

Maryland Humanities Executive Director Phoebe Stein joins us with a message of gratitude and an exciting announcement regarding our Humanities Connection segment.

Allison Tolman

Mar 22, 2018

Did you know that an article of clothing can be interpreted as a historical document? What can we learn about figures from Maryland’s past by looking at what they wore? Allison Tolman, Chief Registrar and Associate Curator of the Fashion Archives at the Maryland Historical Society, tells us more.

Brown Girls Museum Blog

Mar 15, 2018

How are two women pushing past the gatekeeping that sometimes occurs within cultural institutions? Amanda Figueroa and Ravon Ruffin started Brown Girls Museum Blog, a platform that aims to promote the visibility of people of color, especially women, in the museum field and in academia.

The Great Mystery Show

Mar 9, 2018
Courtesy of Peter Eglington

“Who am I?” “Is there an afterlife?” Science, philosophy, religion, and art have converged to answer some of life’s biggest questions, many of which we still don’t have answers to. The Great Mystery Show at the American Visionary Art Museum celebrates the unknown, the imagination and the search for answers. Rebecca Hoffberger, the museum’s founder and director, tells us more about the exhibit.

Feminist Art History and Linda Nochlin

Mar 1, 2018

In honor of Women’s History Month, each Humanities Connection segment in March will feature a woman in media management, those working at art museums, or in the art history world. Lael J. Ensor-Bennett kicks off the month by teaching us about one of the founders of feminist art history, Linda Nochlin. Ensor-Bennett is the Assistant Visual Resources Curator at Johns Hopkins University.

Will Schwarz

Feb 22, 2018

What purpose can be served by confronting our region’s racist past? How can documentation of tragedy foster empathy? Will Schwarz, documentary director and producer and director of Pennant Productions, answers these questions and talks about his work on The Maryland Lynching Memorial Project.

Baltimore’s African-American Maritime History

Feb 15, 2018

Did you know that the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock, was founded in Baltimore in 1886 by Isaac Myers, a free African-American man? The Railway and Dry Dock’s location is now home to the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum, a part of the Living Classrooms Foundation. Candi Claggett is the Interpretation Coordinator at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum. She teaches us about the contributions Isaac Myers and abolitionist and writer, Frederick Douglass, made to the development of Baltimore’s maritime history.

Baltimore Life Under Jim Crow

Feb 8, 2018

How can stories of desegregation during the Jim Crow era influence current policies around race, segregation, and opportunity in America in 2018 and beyond? Towson Professors Gary Homana and Morna McDermott explore this question, and preserve the stories of seven African-Americans who grew up Baltimore during the Jim Crow Era, in their documentary Voices of Baltimore: Life under Segregation.

Ira Aldridge: London’s First Black Othello

Feb 1, 2018

In 1833, English audiences were shocked to see an African American man play the role of Shakespeare’s Othello. Ira Aldridge was London’s first African-American Othello and is the subject of the play Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. Shirley Basfield Dunlap, Director of Red Velvet at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, tells us about Aldridge. Dunlap is an Associate Professor, and the Theatre Coordinator, at Morgan State University.

Documenting Traditions in Maryland

Jan 25, 2018

Did you know that Business Insider reported that, in 2016, over 68 million people watched documentary films on Netflix? How do filmmakers create a documentary that both resonates with an audience and helps to preserve local history?  Matt Kelley, filmmaker and CEO of Human Being Productions, talks about the company’s mini-documentary series, Traditions.  Each video in the series centers on the history of a Maryland institution.

"Hunch Meat" Literary Anthology

Jan 18, 2018

Sixteen years old isn’t the standard age for an Editor-in-Chief, but June Keating dreamt up a literary anthology and with the help of a team, she’s bringing it to fruition. The high school junior in the Literary Arts program at the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology talks about her anthology, Hunch Meat.

Gender, Finance, and Confidence

Jan 11, 2018

Many people debate over how to categorize economics. It is science? Social science? Social studies? If it’s separated from the humanities, economist James D. Campbell asks, “don’t we neglect to show the next generation how to see and hear the humanistic as it relates to the organization of our economies, our world?” Amanda Cuocci of Stansberry Research talks about gender, confidence, and financial literacy. 

What will you resolve to change in the New Year? Scholar Benjamin Sax, from the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies, tells us about Jewish theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel and his philosophy of forgiveness.

The Poetry in Science

Jan 4, 2018

Despite the tendency to separate STEM fields from the humanities, poetry and science have a closer bond than many people realize. Kathleen Gillespie is a poet and has a Doctorate in Marine Biotechnology. She is a research affiliate at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) in the Inner Harbor. She talks about the impact science has made on her poetry, and finding the poetry in science.

Understanding Sacrifice and Preserving War Stories

Dec 21, 2017

How can we experience the emotional impact of history and pass on stories of heroes for younger generations? Ryan Kaiser is a Social Studies teacher at The Mt. Washington School, whose class participates in Maryland Humanities’ Maryland History Day. Through a program called Understanding Sacrifice, he traveled to the Philippines to learn more about World War II and read the eulogy of a fallen soldier.

Alice Through the Ages

Dec 15, 2017

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland remains a beloved classic more than 150 years since its publication, and its readership spans generations. How have different versions of the tale reflected their environments, and what does Alice look like in 2017? We speak with Rebecca Adelsheim, Production Dramaturg for Lookingglass Alice, now playing at Baltimore Center Stage, a Maryland Humanities grantee.

Reading Between the Lines (Encore)

Dec 6, 2017

As adults, we know well the power of literacy – but how do we pass that along to our children in a way that encourages them to truly enjoy reading? Rona Sue London, children’s book curator at the Ivy Bookshop, tells us how she shares her love of reading with children.

"Man, Image, Idea:" Post-Stonewall Photography

Nov 30, 2017

"Man, Image, Idea: Photographs of Men from the Mark Rice Collection,” a new exhibition from the period after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, invites contemplation of the male body and engages the complicated dynamics of looking at the male form.  The exhibition is on display at University of Maryland Baltimore County Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery until December 12. The curator, James Smalls, Professor of Art/Design History & Theory, Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Africana Studies at UMBC, tells us why this groundbreaking photography is so important.

Literature and Medicine

Nov 16, 2017

A Brief History of Black Feminism

Nov 9, 2017

The black feminist movement has stayed in the spotlight over the last few years. Melissa Brown, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, delves into the history and the pioneering women behind the movement.

Books: A Doorway to Discovery

Nov 2, 2017

The years before children enter the classroom are crucial to setting a student on the path to academic success. Young parents may not know where to start, but librarians are there to help.  Dorothy Stoltz, from the Outreach and Program Services Department at the Carroll County Library, tells us about the Library’s “Read at Your Library” program and its success in preparing students for a lifetime of learning.

Morality: Science or Humanities?

Oct 25, 2017

How do the historical dynamics between traditional cultures and modernity influence our contemporary beliefs about morality? Lindsay Thompson, Maryland Humanities board member and an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School tells us more.

Forced Servitude at Hampton

Oct 18, 2017

History tells us that many Americans, whether black or white, shared similar experiences in early America. Some of that history has been uncovered right in our backyard through the Hampton National Historic Site. Anokwale Anansesemfo, historian of the African Diaspora in America and national park ranger at Hampton, tells us more about Hampton’s history of forced servitude.

Connecting with Students through Literature

Oct 12, 2017

Better Living Through the Humanities

Oct 5, 2017

What is the importance of the humanities to the future of our nation? Dr. Jim Salvucci, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Buena Vista University offers this reflection of how the humanities bring meaning to our lives.

One Maryland One Book, Teacher's Perspective

Sep 22, 2017

Here is the copy: Each fall Maryland Humanities One Maryland One Book program brings together diverse people in communities across Maryland through the shared reading of one book. What some may not realize is that this program also serves as a valuable tool for educators. This week we offer a reflection from our archives. Nicole Little Cook, Library Media Specialist at Seneca Valley High School in Montgomery County, reflects on the 2014 One Maryland One Book, “The Distance Between Us: a Memoir” by Reyna Grande.

Andrea Lewis

Sep 14, 2017

One Maryland One Book, a program of Maryland Center for the Book at Maryland Humanities, is the state’s largest reading and discussion program. Each fall, this program brings together diverse groups of Marylanders from across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. Andrea Lewis, Program Officer at Maryland Humanities, tells us more.

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