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.

Honoring Veterans Through Oral History

May 19, 2016

As Memorial Day approaches, we think about the best ways to honor our veterans. One of Maryland Humanities’ programs, an oral history project with Southern High School in Anne Arundel County, sought to do just that by connecting high school students with local Vietnam veterans in order to record and preserve their histories. Jennifer Davidson, social studies teacher at Southern High School and coordinator of this project, tells us more.

#ThisIsBaltimore

May 12, 2016

In response to the negative press coverage surrounding last year’s uprising, local nonprofit Wide Angle Youth Media was inspired to document and share positive images of Baltimore youth. The resulting compilation, made possible in part by Maryland Humanities, shares photographs and essays showcasing Baltimore youth from more than 15 neighborhoods. Today we hear from three Baltimore students who participated in creating and curating the book—Latrell, Raymond, and Imani— on how the experience affected them.

#BlackMinds Matter Baltimore Rising: Summoning the Village

May 5, 2016

Through its #BlackMindsMatter Baltimore Rising: Summoning the Village Call to Action series, sponsored in part by a grant from Maryland Humanities, the Black Mental Health Alliance for Education & Consultation, Inc. (BMHA) has created an innovative model of community engagement designed to infuse mental health strategies and solutions into the current and longstanding challenges facing Baltimore City. Jan Desper Peters, executive director at the BMHA, tells us more.

Connecting with Students Through Literature

Apr 21, 2016

Have you ever loved a book so much you wished you could write a letter to the author? That’s the foundation of our annual letter-writing contest for middle and high school students, Letters About Literature. A national Library of Congress program that is facilitated in Maryland by the Maryland Humanities Council, Letters About Literature promotes reading and writing skills and inspires creativity in its many participants.  Kimberly Dyar, teacher librarian at Rising Sun High School in Cecil County and recipient of last year’s Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year award, tells us how this program allowed her to connect with one of her students.

War Stories for National Healing

Apr 14, 2016

Most veterans return home with important and varied stories to tell— but do they have an outlet to express and share those stories? Through humanities-based programs like the Maryland Humanities Council’s veterans book discussions, or the Washington D.C.-based Veterans Writing Project, veterans are able to come together to give voice to their experiences. Writer Dario DiBattista, an instructor in the Veterans Writing Project, tells us more.

 

 

Impact of Maryland History Day

Apr 7, 2016

Did you know that each year the Maryland Humanities Council coordinates the National History Day competition in Maryland? Last year nearly 24,000 Maryland students engaged in this year-long historical research experience. Dylan Rogers Elliott, a former Maryland History Day participant and current student at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, tells us about how this program has made a lasting impact on his life.

Literary Walking Tour of Mount Vernon

Mar 31, 2016

Ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of the famous authors, poets, and editors who lived in Baltimore? Every third Saturday in April through October, the Maryland Humanities Council offers a Literary Walking Tour of Mount Vernon, taking you through majestic cultural institutions, past elegant mansions, and into the minds of Baltimore’s literary luminaries, artists, and journalists. On April 2, we’re kicking off the season with a special tour coinciding with Light City Baltimore. Jessica Baldwin, Program Assistant for Maryland Center for the Book, tells us more about the tour.

Diversity in Theater

Mar 24, 2016

On April 2, the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies will hold its third annual Black Theatre Symposium, supported in part through a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council. Scot Reese, artist and professor at UMD’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and one of the co-organizers of the symposium, tells us how this event aims to build diversity and community in theater.

 

Baltimore Stories

Mar 17, 2016

On March 23, the University of Maryland Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy, the Maryland Humanities Council, and other partners will kick off “Baltimore Stories,” a program designed to examine the roles of narrative in the life and identity of Baltimore, with a day-long public forum featuring David Simon and Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Sheri Parks, co-program director and associate dean at the College for Arts and Humanities at UMD, tells us more about Baltimore Stories.

The Impact of Pulitzer-Winning Journalism

Mar 10, 2016

Did you know that this year marks the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes? In celebration of that milestone, the Maryland Humanities Council is offering a year-long series of events to highlight the impact this award-winning work has had on our lives. Made possible through a grant from the Federation of State Humanities Councils, the programming kicks off on March 8 with journalist panels at the Baltimore Sun. Diana Sugg, Pulitzer-Prize winning Sun journalist, shares the powerful impact that investigative journalism and the Pulitzer Prizes have on our world. 

All Baltimore Voices

Mar 3, 2016

After the death of Freddie Gray in police custody last April and the unrest that followed, the Maryland Humanities Council reflected on how the humanities could help. From this discussion came our Humanities Fund for Baltimore, a special grant program for local nonprofits. One of the program’s first round grantees, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, tells us about its funded project: “All Baltimore Voices: Stories About & Beyond the Unrest.”

 

Changing Baltimore

Feb 25, 2016

Through its Changing Baltimore series, sponsored in part by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, the Baltimore Museum of Industry is unearthing and sharing the history behind Baltimore’s ever-changing neighborhoods. The series uses lectures, films, and discussions in order to discover the past and present industrial landscape of our city. Anita Kassoff, executive director at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, tells us more.

Our Baltimore

Feb 18, 2016
Courtesy of Eubie Blake Cultural Center

On February 11, the Eubie Blake Cultural Center opens its “Our Baltimore” exhibit, which tells the stories of African Americans in Baltimore through the civil rights era to present day. The exhibit, supported in part by the Maryland Humanities Council, tells these stories by highlighting the work of the Phillips family, Baltimore-based photojournalists. Cheryl Goodman, program associate at Eubie Blake, tells us more. 

Sounding Botany Bay

Feb 11, 2016
Courtesy of UMBC

On February 16, the Dresher Center for the Humanities at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will host a humanities forum discussing how humans have changed a unique Australian environment. Tim Nohe, Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts at UMBC, spent nine years researching Australia’s Botany Bay. He tells us more about this experience and what he learned.

A Walk Through Shakespeare

Feb 4, 2016

Did you know that this year marks 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death? With support from the Maryland Humanities Council, local nonprofit Arts Every Day is commemorating this historic anniversary by partnering with Baltimore City Public School communities to engage students with Shakespeare, to understand the historical context through artifacts, and to engage in performing and visual art-making. Julia Di Bussolo, executive director of Arts Every Day, tells us more.

Finding and Cultivating Your Ideas

Jan 26, 2016

One of the most popular questions writers face from their curious audiences is “where do you get your ideas?” Elisabeth Dahl, a local author who writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults, tackles that question as well as its natural follow-up: “how do you bring those ideas to life?”

The Lock House

Jan 21, 2016

Maryland is home to many historic properties, all of which have fascinating backgrounds that reveal our state’s rich past. One such property, the Lock House, is located in Havre de Grace on the Susquehanna River. Ciera Fisher, executive director of Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House, tells us about this property’s unique 175-year history.

Maryland's Medical Society

Jan 14, 2016

Did you know that Baltimore is home to the Maryland State Medical Society, a nonprofit organization that is more than 200 years old and brings together the state’s physicians? MedChi, as it is known, engages its membership in lifelong learning through a vast library, a monthly medical journal, in-person events, and more. Meg Fairfax Fielding, Director of Development at MedChi, tells us more about the history of this unique Maryland organization.

Maryland AskUsNow!

Jan 7, 2016

Maryland AskUsNow! is the statewide online library chat service available to Marylanders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Librarians answer questions and provide research guidance, and since its launch in 2003, they have answered over 418 thousand questions by chat. Rebecca Starr, Enoch Pratt Librarian, provides this reflection.

Mary, the Visitation, and the Magnificat, Part 2: Dr. Homayra Ziad

Dec 31, 2015

Last week we heard from Dr. Rubens, a Roman Catholic Scholar at the Institute of Christian and Jewish Studies, on Mary’s visit to Elizabeth in Luke’s Gospel.  Today, Dr. Homayra Ziad, ICJS's first Muslim Scholar, provides insights on the Muslim poet Jalaluddin Rumi’s writings on the role of Mary in the Qur’an, the story of the Visitation and the Magnificat.

Comparative religion is an aspect of the humanities that offers critical insights into the human experience.  In recognition of the upcoming holidays, we turn to the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies for a two-part series reflecting on Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth prior to giving birth and the Magificat, Mary’s song of praise.  The ICJS is a nonprofit that addresses the contemporary challenges of religious pluralism. In today’s segment, Dr. Heather Miller Rubens, Roman Catholic Scholar at ICJS, contemplates Mary’s spiritual journey.

Forced Servitude at Hampton

Dec 17, 2015
The interior of the slave quarters at Hampton, courtesy of Hampton National Historic Site

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 in Towson, the recipient of a Maryland Humanities Council grant for public programming.  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.

Maryland Veterans: A Journey Through Vietnam

Dec 10, 2015

As many of us spend time with older family members this holiday season, we encourage you to take some time to ask questions of them in order to collect and preserve their unique personal history. That’s the idea behind “Maryland Veterans: A Journey through Vietnam,” a Maryland Humanities Council oral history project in which Anne Arundel County students interview local Vietnam War veterans. Dr. Barry Lanman, director of the Martha Ross Center for Oral History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the oral historian lending expertise to this project, tells us more.

 

Voices of Change

Dec 3, 2015

On November 18, the MHC-supported exhibit Voices of Change: Social Protest through the Arts and Humanities opened at the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College. The exhibit and its related programming seeks to stimulate thought and discussion about the ways that music, literature, and the visual arts have intersected with moments of social protest in the United States in the modern era. Jeff Ball, professor of art history at Harford Community College and lead curator of the exhibition, tells us more.   

Atlantic Slave Rebellion

Nov 19, 2015

On December 2, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will host an event as part of its free Humanities Forum series focusing on the heretofore untold story of the Atlantic Slave Rebellion in the Dutch Caribbean. Dr. Marjoleine Kars, Associate Professor of History at UMBC and author of an upcoming book on the subject, tells us more about this history and what it teaches us about the dynamics of other famous rebellions.

Effecting Change Through Law

Nov 12, 2015

Did you know that the law is a humanities discipline? And as such, law can—and often does—effect social change. Donald Tobin, Dean of the Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, tells us about their new course, Freddie Gray’s Baltimore: Past, Present and Moving Forward, which intends to do just that.

Pearls on a String

Nov 5, 2015
Walters Art Museum

On Sunday, November 8 the first international loan exhibition of Islamic art to focus on people, Pearls on a String: Artists, Poets, and Patrons at the Great Islamic Courts, will open at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. This free exhibition, made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Maryland Humanities Council, among others, emphasizes the role of human relationships in inspiring and sustaining artistic creativity. Curator Amy Landau tells us more.

Veteran's Voices

Nov 2, 2015

  On November 10 at 7pm., the Bob Parsons Veterans Center at the University of Baltimore and Spotlight UB will once again present Veterans' Voices. This year's free event will highlight the iconic poetry of World War I and musical improvisations on piano and saxophone, followed by conversation.  Dr. Joseph Wood, University of Baltimore Provost and a new member of the MHC Board of Directors, and Lisa Van Wormer, a UB MFA candidate in Creative Writing—both veterans who participated in last year's Veterans Voices' event—share reflections on how storytelling can provide a deeper understanding of veterans’ experiences.

Ruth Starr Rose

Oct 22, 2015

In October the Ruth Starr Rose exhibition opened at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum. The exhibition, funded by the Maryland Humanities Council and presented by Brown Capital Management, features early-20th century portraits of African Americans by Rose, a white artist of privilege from the Eastern Shore. Here to tell us more about the artist and her important work is guest curator Barbara Paca.

Preserve the Baltimore Uprising

Oct 16, 2015

In the months since Freddie Gray’s death and the protests and unrest that followed, Baltimore residents have struggled to make sense of these events. Preserve the Baltimore Uprising, a project of the Maryland Historical Society and several local colleges, aims to provide a better understanding of this very recent history through a public digital archive. Michael Stone, an intern at the Maryland Historical Society, tells us more about this important resource. 

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