The BYU Humanities Center at 10: A Few Last Thoughts, Personal and Institutional

It was BYU’s university conference week in late August 2011, and I was feeling a little nostalgic. And anxious. I was at the college meeting for faculty for what I anticipated was the last time. My family had returned a couple months earlier from Aberdeen, Scotland – the second of our half-yearly stints where I …

Creative Translating: My College Experience as Source Text

This is my last semester at BYU–last week, actually–and as happens with any big change, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and a lot of speculating about what the future will bring. In my poetry class, our most recent assignment was to translate a portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy, which we’ve been reading throughout …

Dear Mom

Dear Mom~ The other day I read an article in the news about parents in Tennessee and elsewhere rallying to have books removed from their teens’ school libraries—books that reference race, sexuality, or the Holocaust in ways that made them (the parents) uncomfortable. I wondered how those kids felt, watching their parents on social media …

“Quick to Observe”: Or, Desultory Thoughts on Seeing and Learning

Gerard Manley Hopkins’s much-loved “Pied Beauty” (a “curtal sonnet” composed in 1877) fits the season, as spring begins to arrest our attention: GLORY be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, …

“Not Even the Alphabet or the Multiplication Tables …”

The week before last, the Humanities Center held a discussion motivated by the never-ending “crisis in the humanities” and centered on how three colleagues have seen their fields, students, and jobs evolve over the past decade or two. These colleagues – Daryl Lee (French and Italian), Kristin Matthews (English), and Rex Nielson (Spanish and Portuguese) …

Sport and the Humanities: A Natural Dance Partnership

The Olympics always leave me a bit nostalgic. Thanks to my dad’s involvement with Cycling Canada, my childhood was immersed in sport. From memories of holding my dad’s hand as we manoeuvered through the throngs of people behind the scenes at my first Olympics in Montreal, to members of the national team training in our …