Humanities Initiative News
On Friday, February 21st, the Humanities Ambassadors hosted a panel of three distinguished speakers for our kickoff event in a series of public gatherings that we will organize throughout the semester. The Forum on the Future of the Humanities, which took place at Kimmel Center, welcomed Dwai Banerjee, J.M. DeLeon, and Dania Hueckmann who spoke about their dissertation topics and how those projects have benefitted from their experiences with the humanities.
Dania Hueckmann discussed the interdisciplinary aspects of her work and her experiences with multiple departments and schools of thought until she reached the topic of revenge and its political, social, and cultural implications. Dwai Banerjee focused on how the humanities benefit doctors in making ethical decisions and assist them with understanding their patients, as well as help to explain things that don’t answer to biology or technology. J.M. DeLeon spoke of the necessity of self-indulgence as it relates to the arts and the value it brings to diversity of thought and multi-dimensional human experience. The forum then opened up to a lively Q&A session in which we discussed the challenges that we’ve all faced in our studies of the humanities and the ways that we can potentially navigate those obstacles in the future. We talked about the dynamic nature of the humanities especially in transcending academia, the value of interdisciplinary pursuits, as well as our visions for the transformation of the humanities in the future.
The Humanities Ambassadors thanks Dania, Dwai, and J.M. for joining us and for sharing such interesting and enlightening ideas. Please stay tuned for details about our next event which we will be hosting in mid-March.
The Humanities Initiative and the New York Council for the Humanities announce the call for applicants for the 2014-2015 Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship.
The Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship was developed in partnership by The Humanities Initiative and the New York Council for the Humanities to bring humanities scholarship into the public realm, encourage emerging humanities scholars to conceive of their work in relation to the public sphere, develop scholars’ skills for doing public work, and strengthen the public humanities community in New York State. The year-long Fellowship will involve a combination of training in the methods and approaches of public scholarship and work by the Fellow to explore the public dimensions of their own scholarship in partnership with a community organization serving public audiences.
“To read Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism is to learn,” panelist Mark Sanders commented, “both as the author instructs and by the reader’s own formation.”
In this lively discussion of Hala Halim’s recent book, Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism: An Archive (2013) panelists explored themes such as cosmopolitanism and class, eurocentrism, colonial subalternity, and the universalism of Alexandria. Zachary Lockman posed a question about the strong foreign presence of Alexandria in the Egyptian context and both Helga Tawil-Souri and Karen Van Dyck commented on the impressive archive that Hala Halim has created with this book, contemplating the aesthetics of this archive and its foundational properties. Panelists raised questions about how issues of multilingualism and translation impact the poetry of Cavafy explored in the book. The book asks the following questions: Was Alexandria ever cosmopolitan? And if it was, is it possible to think of such a thing as Alexandrian cosmopolitanism? Is there something sui generis about Alexandria’s cosmopolitanism? When, by whom, and why was its cosmopolitanism construed as exemplary?
With support from the Humanities Initiative at NYU, the club will organize a series of events during the Spring 2014 semester to strengthen the voice and identity of the humanities undergraduate student community, with a special focus on exploring how a humanities education can prepare students for a wide range of successful careers.
Read more and apply: http://humanitiesinitiative.org/ambassadors/
Application deadline: November 20, 2013