All resources in NHC Graduate Student Winter Residency 2020

Beowulf Brought Me to Medieval Studies

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Dated to the late tenth or early eleventh century, Beowulf is the longest epic poem written in Old English. The narrative tells the story of the warrior Beowulf in 3,182 alliterative lines and recounts his battles with Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon who ultimately brings about his demise. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex, part of the bound volume Cotton MS Vitellius A XV, which is housed at the British Library in London. The volume suffered substantial damage from a fire in the 1700s, so it is very fragile in addition to being very precious as one of the four major manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Emily McLemore

Paradoxical feelings revealed through literature: My time in Buenos Aires

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This is a reflection of a memorable moment in my life that involved the Humanities. During my frequent trips to Buenos Aires (Argentina) I developed paradoxical feelings towards the city. Through literature and other arts I was able to understand those feelings and embrace them. I specifically refer to the poem 'Buenos Aires' by Jorge Luis Borges and the movie Mi Obra Maestra directed by Gastón Duprat.

Material Type: Reading

Author: M. Gabriela Puscama

Humanities Moment: On David Lewis's On the Plurality of Worlds

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David Lewis's On the Plurality of Worlds is a work of philosophy that advocates for modal realism, the strange thesis that there are other worlds than ours, but like ours in kind. Lewis believes that for every way that the world might have been, there is some world that is that way. Even more strangely, he argues for this conclusion on the basis of facts about our language and thought. I first encountered the text during the summer after my first year of graduate school, and for me, it was an unforgettable humanities moment because of the unique combination of beauty, rigor, and wonder I found there. 

Material Type: Reading

Author: Erin Mercurio

Latcho Drom: Profound History and Human Emotions in Flamenco Music

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My humanities moment began when I was in my first year of undergraduate studies. In hopes of learning more about my ancestors and understanding them in order to make sense of my present-day self and family history, I took Spanish literature courses so that I could dig deeper into the minds of Spanish authors such as Federico Garcia Lorca and learn more about the historical contexts of his work. In trying to understand gypsy culture in Southern Spain and why  gypsies to this day are not welcome in mainstream society, I came across a film called ‘Latcho Drom’ which forever changed my understanding of the profound ways in which Spanish gypsies use Flamenco song and dance as an art form to reflect their day to day lives as outcasts.

Material Type: Homework/Assignment

Author: Emilia Gracia

My Humanity Moments: My Color Identity

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What a challenging piece of writing! I have been debating how to approach my humanities moments. After reading a couple of amazing stories, I also decided to share an important moment that signifies my humanity moment: my color identity. This is just my weird way to share a bit of who I am and how humanities have shaped me. 

Material Type: Homework/Assignment

Author: Gilberto Pereira

Designing a Syllabus in a Global Mental Health Epidemic

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This guide describes ways to adjust courses to be easier on students and instructors alike during crisis, not by lowering academic standards, but through small changes that increase flexibility, avoid the kinds of assignments which are hardest to complete in a crisis, and reduce the risk that a brief breakdown will be impossible to recover from. Not all methods work with every type of class, but incorporating those which fit your courses may greatly reduce the strain on students, and yourself

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Ada Palmer

Pooling Resources During the Pandemic

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As the pandemic triggered the sudden transition to remote teaching in spring 2020, professor Ada Palmer's (Univ. of Chicago) inbox was flooded with Zoom tips, training webinars, and course-flipping guides. She found herself thinking: I bet a dozen professors out there would love to use episodes from my filmed discussion series on the history of censorship, but how do I let people know about them? The thought expanded: There must be a thousand people out there with materials like this to share. What better time for teamwork?

Material Type: Reading

Authors: Ada Palmer, Perspectives Daily

Wednesday Demonstrations: Humanities for Justice and Change

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Humanities to me is about recognizing the experiences of others and forming connections that lead to change. Participating in the Wednesday Demonstration in South Korea allowed me the opportunity to see how past, present, and future come together through the experience of demanding justice for "comfort women," sex slaves for the Japanese military during WWII. The Wednesday Demonstration shows how public humanities work is powerful in its ability to unify diverse groups of people and envision hope in fighting for justice.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Minji Kang

Finding Solidarity in This Bridge Called My Back

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The Humanities offer opportunities to consider how power shapes our past, present, and future lives by situating lived experiences as sources of knowledge. These lived experiences allow us to both question the "normal" and interrogate how systems of domination produce dominant meanings of "normal." In This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981), women of color feminists theorize the ways in which power moves within, across, and in convergence of multiple systems of domination from their lived experiences as women of color. This "theory in the flesh" allows for women of color feminists to highlight the urgency of coalition-building and collective political organizing in strategizing resistance against and dissolution of all systems of domination. As a woman of color, this anthology offers comfort, solidarity, and empowerment. It affirms my experiences of navigating the world "in-between" identities, offers comfort in not being alone, and most importantly reiterates the value of my voice as a Chinese-Vietnamese American woman.

Material Type: Primary Source, Reading

Author: Anne Van

Humanities Moment

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This short video, featuring an original animation by myself, tells about a very impactful experience I had the summer of 2016. It all starts on a train, a cross country trip where I fell in love with Miles Davis, the changing landscape and the full range of perspectives America has to offer.

Material Type: Case Study

Author: Mercy Hawkins

"To the Daughters of My Country": Humanitarian Connection across Time and Borders

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In 1922, Julia Dimashqiya, founder and editor of the Beirut-based women’s magazine The New Woman (Al-Mar’a Al-Jadida), inaugurated her first issue by dedicating it to “the daughters of my country.” From our vantage point, this statement seems to be an innocent and even bland admission of belonging. But looking beneath the surface reveals a world of contending debates about who belongs to this national mother, who might not, and why. In 1922, neither Lebanon nor Syria were yet countries—having transitioned from being Ottoman provinces to European mandates, these territories were undefined by fixed national borders. As such, enfolded in this invocation are a number of overlapping claims: to a nation, to a nonsectarian familial bond, to a future that is being built by a gendered collective. Nearly one hundred years later, down in the digital ossuary of Middle Eastern archives, I opened the magazine and felt a kinship to this woman.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Kylie Broderick