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

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.

JHU Archaeological Museum/Clayworks #3

May 8, 2015

  Over the course of the last year we've heard two perspectives—the museum curator's and the ceramic artist's-- on the project that partnered Baltimore Clayworks with the Johns Hopkins University Archaeological Museum.

History of Wine Making in Maryland

May 1, 2015

The Humanities are not only found in the classroom, they can a part of everyday life.  Do you know that Maryland has a rich history of wine making?

Preservation Maryland

Apr 23, 2015
Preservation Maryland

Does what we choose to preserve reflect our society, our culture, our values?  Preservation Maryland is the second oldest statewide historic preservation organization in the country and works to preserve historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites through outreach, funding, and advocacy.

  Dana Hendrickson is both a military spouse and Director of Outreach and Advocacy at the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

Lincoln’s Funeral Train

Apr 9, 2015
B&O Railroad Museum

Next weekend the B & O Railroad Museum will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's funeral train's stop in Baltimore with a weekend full of events.

Designing Memorials, Drafting Legacy

Apr 2, 2015

Memorials are not monuments solely links to our past honoring the sacrifices or achievements of our fellow citizens. They can offer us a powerful experience that captures public ethos and confront the sometimes unhappy truths of collective memory in a form that will last for generations.

Hometown Teams – Federalsburg

Mar 26, 2015
Federalsburg Historical Society

Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition for the whole family, brought to our state by the Maryland Humanities Council, traveling to five sites through November.

100 Years of Peabody Dance

Mar 20, 2015
Peabody Archives

This month Peabody Dance celebrates its centennial. Through a Maryland Humanities Council supported traveling exhibition, community programs, and living history performances, Marylanders can discover the Institute’s history within the context of dance in Baltimore and statewide, major historical figures in dance, and national dance movements.

Maryland Women in Architecture

Mar 12, 2015
AIA Baltimore

On March 19 at Morgan State University the American Institute of Architects Baltimore celebrates Women's History month with a talk and a sneak peek of an MHC supported traveling exhibition launching in June that highlights early women architects in Maryland.

Coming Home In 2007: A Veteran’s Perspective

Mar 5, 2015

  Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War is an NEH Initiative facilitated in Maryland by the Maryland Humanities Council that seeks to promote discussion, deepen understanding of service members' experiences, and provide opportunities to reflect and give voice to issues of concern to veterans.

St. John's College in Annapolis is a liberal arts college where students focus on collaborative inquiry and the study of original texts to examine the fundamental questions of what it means to be human.  Christopher B. Nelson, St. John's College President, is a national spokesperson for liberal arts education.

The Meaning of Monuments

Feb 19, 2015

Baltimore was the first municipality in the U.S. to design a comprehensive program for the preservation of its outdoor monuments.  For more than three decades, the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation has acted as steward for the hundreds of monuments around Charm city, conducting inventories and coordinating preservation efforts.

Few diaries kept by African Americans during the late 19th century have survived, but those that have endured provide a unique glimpse into the everyday life of free African Americans of the time.

Hometown Teams at Banneker-Douglass Museum

Jan 29, 2015

Hometown Teams is a family-friendly and interactive Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, brought to Maryland by the Maryland Humanities Council, which explores our nation’s love of sports and its connection to our culture and identity.

24/7 Library: MarylandAskUsNow!

Jan 22, 2015

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.

Wide Angle Youth Media: Natasha and Kristina

Jan 15, 2015

  In August, listeners learned about Wide Angle Youth Media, a non-profit that teaches Baltimore youth media skills, provides opportunities to tell their own stories, and become engaged with their communities.

Writers in Schools Promote a Love of Reading

Jan 8, 2015
photo courtesy of PEN Faulkner Foundation

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation brings together writers and readers to promote a love of literature. With Maryland Humanities Council grant-support, their Writers in Schools program has expanded into Baltimore City Public and Public Charter Schools, offering a deeply personal reading experience for students.


A workshop by the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University and the Black Press Research Collective, titled "Visualizing the History of the Black Press in the United States," sought to address the lack of digital research tools exploring the geographic scope and social significance of African American newspapers in the U.S.

Mary, the Visitation, and the Magnificat: Part 2

Dec 25, 2014

Last week Humanities Connection featured Dr. Heather Miller Rubens, a Roman Catholic Scholar at the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies, on Mary’s visit to Elizabeth in Luke's Gospel. Today, on Christmas day, Dr. Homayra Ziad, ICJS' first Muslim Scholar, provides insights on the Muslim poet Jalaluddin Rumi's writings on the role of Mary in the Qur'an and the story of the Visitation.

Mary, the Visitation, and the Magnificat: Part 1

Dec 18, 2014
(Image-Champaigne’s “Visitation” courtesy of Wikipedia)

Comparative religion is an aspect of the humanities that offers critical insights into the human experience.  In recognition of the upcoming holiday, 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 Magificant,  Mary's song of praise.

In September, we heard about the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum's teaching collection and their partnership with Baltimore Clayworks, a local nonprofit ceramic art center in Baltimore City.

When the Gutenberg's Bible was printed in 1455 on German printer Johannes Gutenberg's movable type printing press, it set forth the age of the printed book in the Western world.

America: Melting Pot or Salad Bowl?

Nov 27, 2014
Melting Pot stirred by Liberty courtesy of American wikki

Marylanders' Thanksgiving feasts reflect both our state's bounty, like oyster stuffing, to dishes like sauerkraut, that also represent the European immigrants who later settled here.

Digitizing Sherman’s March

Nov 20, 2014

On December 2,  the UMBC Dresher Center for the Humanities presents a lecture and discussion featuring a new digital humanities project, "Mapping Memory: Digitizing Sherman’s March to the Sea," that uses storytelling to explore Sherman’s historic 1864 March to the Sea.

Public Philosophy in Today’s World

Nov 13, 2014

The study philosophy explores the human condition and searching for meaning in the world around us. Today, public philosophy brings the practices of philosophy to public forums to address social, ethical, and other contemporary issues.

Maryland Legacy Day

Nov 6, 2014

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of slavery in Maryland. With MHC support the Prince George’s chapter of the Afro American Historical Genealogical Society is hosting its 19th annual Maryland Legacy Day on November 15, exploring the significance of this historic event and its legacy.

Veterans' Voices

Oct 30, 2014

On November 10, the Bob Parsons Veterans Center, the Maryland Humanities Council, and Spotlight UB present "Veterans’ Voices," a free evening of readings by veterans about their experiences, followed by facilitated discussion.

The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum

Oct 23, 2014

  When Dr. Elmer Martin and his wife Dr. Joanne Martin founded the nation's first black history wax museum in a store-front in downtown Baltimore in 1983, the museum featured 22 wax figures on display.

One Maryland One Book: Wandering Books

Oct 16, 2014

What connections could be forged if everyone in the state read the same book?  Now in its seventh year, The Maryland Humanities Council's One Maryland One Book program encourages discussions across our entire community--from avid readers to reluctant ones.

Conversations with Oedipus

Oct 9, 2014

  October 20-22, Loyola University Maryland, with Maryland Humanities Council grant support, will host a three-day symposium exploring the contemporary value of Greek theatre.