Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite

This post was written by Ivy Griffiths, a Humanities Center student fellow.   I often find myself worrying about my future. With so many variables out of my control, there is no way to guarantee success in my endeavors. If life is a game, how can I win when I don’t hold all the cards? …

Humanities Center Faculty Writing Retreat

Call for Applications: BYU Humanities Center Summer 2024 Writing Retreat Deadline: 15 March 2024 Inspired by the productive example of the National Humanities Center, we are pleased to announce that the BYU Humanities Center will sponsor a new Summer Writing Retreat this year at the beautiful Zermatt hotel in Midway, UT. At a location that …

Navigating the Body and the Soul

This post was written by Drew Swasey, a Humanities Center student fellow.   During a period of my college years, my ascent of the stairs behind the Maeser building became a ritual punctuated by necessary breaks. The physical discomfort of those moments has nearly faded from my memory, yet the process I would use to …

Finding Love in the Shadow Lines

This post was written by Luka Romney, a Humanities Center student fellow.   It seems to me that heartbreak is the constant negotiation and renegotiation between two forces within the self: the first, the deep inner knowing that one is both a deserving recipient and a ready vessel for the fundamental metamorphosis that reciprocal love …

Acting Otherwise

This post was written by Zach Stevenson, a Humanities Center student fellow.   It is impossible to know with certainty the precise thinking patterns of one’s youth, but I feel that I can confidently assert that my former understanding of free will was a faulty one. Specifically, I once understood free will to be a …

In Praise of Small Things

This post was written by Stephen Tuttle, a Humanities Center faculty fellow.   As a fiction writer, my preferred form has always been the short story. Although I once drafted an entire novel, the long form doesn’t suit me. I love to read a good novel (please, ask me why I love Moby-Dick), but when …

Encountering the Sublime

This essay was written by Gabbie Schwartz, a Humanities Center student fellow and the BYU Humanities Center Intern.   I first encountered the aesthetic theories of the sublime and the beautiful in English 292, a course that focused on British Literary History from 1789 onward. Most will be familiar with Edmund Burke’s seminal work, A …

Thresholds

This post was written by Rex P. Nielson, BYU Humanities Center Director. A threshold marks a distinction between two kinds of space. We typically experience thresholds as the common elements of an entrance: the line at the base of a door that separates the outside from the inside. But thresholds may also bear powerful metaphorical …

Words Not Untrue

This post was written by Jamie Horrocks, a Humanities Center faculty fellow.   I am scheduled to teach a class on the Victorian novel next semester. Because of this, I have spent the past few weeks stewing over the question that surely all English professors in my position stew over: what is the maximum number …