Humanities

Bimonthly magazine providing review of notable humanities projects and developments.

Articles from Vol. 30, No. 3, May/June

Around the NATION
A ROUNDUP OF ACTIVITIES SPONSORED BY THE STATE HUMANITIES COUNCILSALABAMAThe SES Institute hosts a residential weeklong workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for underserved high school students, June 7-13. Participants will study the works...
Calendar
Gold, glass, and gilded silver objects, some from as early as 2200 BCE, unearthed by archaeologists in the twentieth century at four sites along the Silk Road in northern Afghanistan reveal a complex past of layered civilizations in "Afghanistan: Hidden...
Curiously Reckless Rebels
An exquisitely fine pencil drawing hanging in a bedroom at Tudor Place in Georgetown in the nation's capital has a tragic tale to tell that is lacking in some basic details. During the Civil War, Confederate cousins in U.S. Army uniform rode into a Union...
Darwin the Young Adventurer
In 2009 two important commemorative events coincide-the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth, coincidentally on the same day as Abraham Lincoln's, and the sesquicentennial of publication of Darwin's pioneering work, On the Origin of Species by Means...
Father Secchi's Dim View
From Maria Mitchell and the Seeing of Science, Renée Bergland's NEH-supported biography of one of America's first professional astron- omers. Mitchell's comet sighting and mathematical abilities launched her career as a computer of the paths of Venus...
Great Expectations Studying with Leon Kass
"Are you impressed with Rebecca at the well? Would you bring her home to meet your parents?"The question hung in the air, and with it the familiar sense of excitement and uncertainty of a class taught by Leon Kass. It almost always began like this: a...
Immigration and the Brahmins
"Let us welcome all immigrants who are sound mentally and physically and intelligent, and let us protect the country from those who tend to lower the average of health and intelligence."- Prescott Hall, 1907"The Puritan is passed; the Anglo-Saxon is...
Impertinent: Questions WITH JAMES LEVE
For this edition of IQ, we take a seat next to James Leve, associate professor of musicology at Northern Arizona University, and wait for the curtain to rise on the world of musical theater. With the help of an NEH grant, Leve wrote the first study of...
In Focus
Maine's Erik JorgensenWHEN HE WAS IN FOURTH GRADE, ERIK JORGENSEN MANAGED HIS FIRST MUSEUM.His class came to the backyard of the family home outside Boston to tour the varied collections of rocks, pieces of wood, and other objects of intense interest...
Kass Unclassified
Selections from Leon Kass's writings across science, medicine, and philosophyFrom Toward a More Natural Science(1985)Now, it is an old but ill-remembered story, more or less forgotten under the rosy opti- mism of the Enlightenment, that inquiry is, as...
Oklahoma of Fairy Floss & Ferris Wheels
VISITORS TO THE 1893 COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, could ride the first Ferris wheel, see an exotic dancer perform a belly dance known as the "hootchy-kootchy," and see the magnificent glass work of Louis Comfort Tiffany.More...
Searching for Truth from Genesis to Genotype A Conversation with Leon Kass
Chicago-born Leon Kass, the 2009 Jefferson Lecturer, sat with Humanities magazine to describe how as a young medical doctor he joined the civil rights movement, then changed course to become a research scientist, but, as a result of reading Rousseau,...
Velo News
Histories of bicycle racing often give in to hagiography, but historian Christopher S. Thompson, through NEH-supported research for his book The Tour de France (University of California, 2O06), keeps pace with the sport without succumbing to veneration....
What WORDS Are WORTH: In Defense of the Humanities
Some say that the humanities are in trouble.The claim is not easy to dismissVThe loss of a generally acknowledged canon of great works, the disappearance of a core humanities curriculum at major universities, the devaluation of the humanities against...
Who Said It?
FOR YOUR EYES ONLYThe ever malleable eye has been a favorite trope of writers expounding on character, beauty, and judgment. In this edition of Who Said It?, we glance at the eye in poetry and prose.1. These eyes were blue; blue as autumn distance -...