Posts made in 2014

“I Can’t Breathe”: Attempting Conversation with Imperfect Language

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

“I Can’t Breathe”: Attempting Conversation with Imperfect Language

While the BYU Humanities Center, as its mission statement declares, features the language, literature, thought, culture, and history of the human conversation, the overarching idea of conversation places language at the center of that mission. The commitment to language is evident in many Center activities, not least of which is the formation of a new faculty and student Translation Studies Research Group. Dale Pratt, Professor of Spanish and member of the Humanities Center Executive Committee, wrote the following short essay on language, with a special eye to recent events that have drawn...

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Secularism and the Humanities

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Humanities Center Blog | 4 comments

Secularism and the Humanities

Matthew Wickman, Director of the BYU Humanities Center Recently, and coincidentally, I read two articles on the same day that seemed to speak to, and yet past, each other. One was in The Salt Lake Tribune and bore the ominous title “BYU Prof Fears Mormon Scholars Are Giving In to Secularism,” while the other, published in the scholarly journal Modern Language Quarterly, was more blandly descriptive: “Secularity and the Uses of Literature: English at Cambridge, 1890-1920.” (Read an abstract of the article here.) The common thread between these articles, of course, was secularism, and it was...

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Hans-Wilhelm Kelling’s Research: From Female SS Guards to George Bancroft

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Featured Projects | 0 comments

Hans-Wilhelm Kelling’s Research: From Female SS Guards to George Bancroft

Throughout his career at BYU and continuing today, Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Kelling has remained an example of lifelong learning to his students. His paper entitled “Female Guards, Nurses, and Doctors in German Concentration Camps” was recently awarded the Best Paper Award by the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters in the Humanities/Philosophy/Foreign Language Division. In the paper Dr. Kelling details a gruesome chapter of recent German history that is generally not well known: the unspeakable crimes committed by women against helpless concentration inmates, torturing many to death. In...

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2014

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014 in ORCA Symposium | 0 comments

Megan Armknecht Megan presented on how Louisa May Alcott was influenced by German Romanticism–specifically the German thinker and writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. She had noticed resonances between Goethe’s thinking and personality in the character of Dr. Bhaer in Alcott’s classic, Little Women, and wanted to find out if these connections meant anything and if Dr. Bhaer could have been based–at least in part–on Goethe. Her ORCA project allowed her to travel to Boston and Concord, Massachusetts to read Alcott’s correspondence, diary entries, and...

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Psychological and Financial Benefits of “Slowing Down”

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

Psychological and Financial Benefits of “Slowing Down”

We can obtain a lot of information instantly. We can check email, find the weather forecast, take a photo, make a purchase, all in a matter of seconds. The rapidity of modern–or digital–life is convenient; it makes us more efficient and frees up time to accomplish other things. It’s hard to believe that there might be negative effects to something so useful. In her New York Times article, “The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum,” Stephanie Rosenbloom describes how living rapidly has changed our museum experience. She writes, “the average visitor spends 15 to 30 seconds in front of a...

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Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month

On September 30, President Obama declared October 2014, National Arts and Humanities Month. This is the 29th year in a row that October has been dedicated to celebrating Arts and Humanities. In his proclamation, Obama wrote, “Since our earliest days, America has flourished because of the creative spirit and vision of our people. Our Nation is built on the freedom of expression, and we rely on the arts and humanities to broaden our views and remind us of the truths that connect us.” Though sometimes criticized as impractical the humanities build connections between people and reflect truths...

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Brian Roberts’s study of American literature leads him to Indonesia.

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Featured Projects | 0 comments

Brian Roberts’s study of American literature leads him to Indonesia.

Over the past several years, Professor Roberts has collaborated with Dr. Keith Foulcher (Indonesian Studies, University of Sydney) to research American writer Richard Wright’s 1955 travel to Indonesia to attend the Asian-African Conference, a landmark meeting of representatives from twenty-nine postcolonial Asian and African countries. In May 2013, with funding from the Kennedy Center for International Studies, Professor Roberts traveled to Indonesia, where he gave talks for English majors and graduate students at the American cultural center in Jakarta and at the University of Indonesia. He...

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75 Years After His Death, Has Freud Slipped Out of Our Conscious?

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

75 Years After His Death, Has Freud Slipped Out of Our Conscious?

If you ask a psychologist, they will tell you Freud is obsolete. His theories have been debunked. The Oedipus Complex? Nonsense. Psychotherapy? Not helpful. But this week, Michael S. Roth, President of Wesleyan University, says otherwise in a piece he wrote for the The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled, “Why Freud Still Haunts Us.” Rather than being an artifact of psychological history, Roth argues that 75 years after his death, “Freud continues to haunt our culture because his genre of questioning remains tied to our desire for meaning.” Even though we no longer rely on his theories...

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Fall 2014

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Colloquiua | 0 comments

All Colloquia will take place in JFSB 4010 at 3:00pm unless otherwise specified. September 11 David Grandy (Philosophy) The Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things’: The Philosophical and Poetic Depths of Science September 18 Dirk Elzinga (LEL) How do you say —– in Hopi? How the Deseret Alphabet was used to document an indigenous language of the Southwest September 25 Jamin Rowan (English) Cities in the Humanities: Developing a New Urban Imaginary October 2 Jennifer Haraguchi (French/Italian) Educating Rich and Poor Girls in Seventeenth-Century Florence: Eleonora Ramirez di Montalvo (1602-59),...

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Should Thomas L. Friedman and Google Go Back to School?

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Humanities Center Blog | 1 comment

Yesterday morning I read a couple articles that, in relative juxtaposition, conspired to trigger this response. One was an innocuous piece about some high schooler getting suspended for asking the school’s visiting lecturer to prom during an assembly. The speaker happened to be Miss America. The other was a well-intentioned New York Times op-ed by Thomas Friedman about how to get a job at Google. What do these two (very different) pieces have to do with one another? Simply this: each is a story about the STEM fields (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) that either excludes or...

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