Posts made in 2015

How the Humanities Can Save Humanity

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

How the Humanities Can Save Humanity

The following post was written by Andrew Rees, a student Fellow for the Center.  I have been deeply troubled by the growing anti-Islamic sentiment across the United States in recent weeks. Calls to bar entrance to Middle Eastern refugees and even all Muslims have been met, not with apprehension, but with widespread support across the nation. The phrase “War on Islam,” which our leaders worked so hard to eradicate in the aftermath of 9/11, has resurged. The rhetoric about Muslims is increasingly dehumanizing. This, among other current issues, has led me to ask one question: Where is our...

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A Liberal Education at BYU

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

A Liberal Education at BYU

The following post was written by Blair Bateman, a Faculty Fellow for the Center. At the University of Minnesota, where I earned my PhD, the approximate equivalent for BYU’s College of Humanities is known as the College of Liberal Arts, as it is at many other universities. In fact, the word “liberal” is commonly used at most universities in reference to a broad, encompassing education. The Association of American Colleges and Universities defines a liberal education as “a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of...

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The Perils of Sympathy

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

The Perils of Sympathy

Great cities ravaged by bombs. Images of children drowning in the ocean. Photographs of devastated victims unable to process horrific acts. Pathetically charged narratives begging readers and/or listeners to feel enough to incite them to action. Each of these examples is used as a way to evoke a sympathetic reaction from a party separate from those directly involved in sympathetic scenes. Sympathy is often a visceral, even spontaneous, feeling sparked by unfortunate circumstance. But sympathy has its dark side. According to Paul Bloom, sympathy (for the purposes of this article, sympathy is...

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A Few Thoughts on the Postsecular, Post-Paris

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 2 comments

A Few Thoughts on the Postsecular, Post-Paris

Friday, November 13 was a day of good fortune for the BYU Humanities Center. We held our Annual Symposium, and our guest, Caroline Levine (of the University of Wisconsin–Madison), could not have been more gracious, engaging, or interesting. But that same evening, a terrorist cell affiliated with ISIS launched a coordinated attack in Paris, detonating bombs in a football stadium, sniping patrons at restaurants, and opening fire in a concert venue. 130 people lost their lives. The day before, terrorists had set off bombs in Beirut, killing approximately 40 people. (Only the heroic actions of...

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Greg Clark’s Innovative Research on Civic Jazz

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Featured Projects, Homepage Features | 1 comment

Greg Clark’s Innovative Research on Civic Jazz

Many faculty, staff, and students at BYU were first introduced to Jazz and the Art of Civic Life with a presentation in 2013 by BYU professor Greg Clark and his guest jazz artists Loren Schoenberg and Jonathan Batiste (Batiste has since become the band leader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert). One year later, Dr. Clark brought the great jazz pianist Marcus Roberts to campus, along with Schoenberg, to continue that conversation in a program sponsored by the Humanities Center. This year, Clark has continued working with jazz musicians to present ideas of civic jazz at the National Jazz...

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Cervantes’s Masterpiece: Celebrating Don Quixote

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 1 comment

Cervantes’s Masterpiece: Celebrating Don Quixote

The following post was written by Dale Pratt, a Fellow for the Center.  Almost exactly four hundred years ago this month, Miguel de Cervantes published the second volume of his masterpiece, Don Quixote. The 1605 publication of the first volume had made him famous but not rich (he had sold the rights to the book to the printer); the book became an almost instant best seller, read throughout Europe in Spanish and in translation. The 1615 volume brought the long overdue comfort and even wealth for which Cervantes had longed throughout his many adventures: as a war hero during the famous Battle...

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Colloquium: Mark Davies

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Humanities Center Events | 0 comments

Colloquium: Mark Davies

Mark Davies will present at our weekly Colloquium on November 19th @ 3:00 in JFSB 4010. His presentation is titled: Looking at changes in American culture and society with large corpora. Many people are familiar with the ways that data from Google Books has been used to look at changes in culture and society, such as with “Culturomics”. With more structured corpora, however, even more can be done. In this presentation, we’ll look at how students in the English Language capstone class have used the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) to look at a wide range of cultural and societal...

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Editing is Service

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

Editing is Service

The following post is written by Rachel Cannon, an undergraduate Fellow at the Center.  Growing up, in school, I never liked the idea of someone editing my work. It felt intrusive, and my prideful self so intent on perfection didn’t want to be told how many mistakes I’d made and how imperfect my work was. This idea prevailed until I found myself pursuing an editing minor at BYU years later. I have learned that editing is much more than someone trying to tell you all your mistakes and trying to point out all your faults. Its true purpose it to serve. It is not to tear someone down but to lift...

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Annual Symposium: Caroline Levine

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Humanities Center Events | 0 comments

Annual Symposium: Caroline Levine

Caroline Levine will be our guest scholar at the Humanities Center’s Annual Symposium. Caroline is currently a professor in the English department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Book Discussion — 11:00 – 12:30 pm Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network in JFSB 4010 Symposium Lecture — 3 – 4:30 pm in the Education in Zion Theater (JFSB B192) Reception — 4:30 – 6:00 pm in the Foreign Language Activity Center (JFSB B003)...

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Living in Nostalgia: Disneyfied Re-creations of History

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Homepage Features, Humanities Center Blog | 0 comments

Living in Nostalgia: Disneyfied Re-creations of History

Originally perceived to be a psychological disorder, nostalgia, which is rooted in the Greek words nostos (longing) and algos (pain), was explored as a way to explain soldiers’ feelings of homesickness during war. As we’ve progressed since the seventeenth century conception of nostalgia, nostalgia has taken on many forms. Nostalgia has certainly contributed to the marketplace, which can be seen, for example, in the recent re-creation of The Winnie the Pooh book and the new Star Wars movie and merchandise like this new Star Wars video game. These items play on people’s nostalgic emotions to...

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