Wine, music, books, podcasts, a roving library of gender studies texts…we’re highlighting the best of the humanities below.
Keira, president and CEO:
- Wine and page-turning books – perfect for summer!
- #EduHam teaches American history through rap, poetry and drama. (A shout-out to one of my favorite historians and Hamilton fanatics, Indiana Humanities board member Ted Frantz. This fave is for you!)
Kristen, director of communications and development:
- Love this project of our friend Anne Laker’s called “10,000 Whens.” Anne has kept a short diary of sorts since 1985. See her display as part of Big Car’s “The Tiny Book Show” this Sunday at Garfield Park in Indy.
- I loved this tip that reminds us to keep learning—even when it goes against our over-productive nature. The tip is to implement a “5-hour rule” like many of our smartest leaders have. Throughout Benjamin Franklin’s life he spent roughly 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, simply on learning. It’s a style embraced by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and others.
Leah Nahmias, director of programs:
- I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m just now getting around to seeing Indiana Landmarks’ beautiful new website. It is intuitive, informative, and a wonderful way to spend lots of hours exploring Hoosier places that matter.
- Be a Civil War code breaker! Put on your history sleuth hat and help historians and archivists transcribe more than 16,000 Civil War telegrams with@decodingthecivilwar.
- I found this essay about how J.R.R. Tolkien’s experiences as a soldier during World War I influenced his Lord of the Rings trilogy very moving.
- Feminist Library On Wheels (FLOW) is the coolest public humanities project I’ve seen in a while! It’s a roving library of of key gender studies texts that get carted around Los Angeles via bicycle! Swoon!
George Hanlin, director of grants:
- Amid the proliferation of podcasts, This American Life still offers some of the best storytelling around, and a recent episode, “Tell Me I’m Fat,” especially struck a chord. (Maybe it hit too close to home?) The episode’s essays are funny, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking—and one of them features a local connection: Roxane Gay, associate professor of English at Purdue University.
- This week I visited New Albany, Indiana, to share information about Indiana Humanities’ grants program with some the town’s cultural organizations. If you haven’t been to New Albany in a while, it’s worth a visit. Be sure to check out the Carnegie Center for Art and History (featuring a well-executed exhibition on the Underground Railroad), the Culbertson Mansion (once owned—and now haunted by?—one of Indiana’s richest philanthropists), and the New Albany–Floyd County Public Library (be sure to see the charming and nostalgia-inducing folk-art dioramas by Merle Yenawine).
Jacqueline Cromleigh, communications and community relations manager:
- In celebration of the brilliant painter’s birthday, Huffington Post shares “how you can be more like Frida Kahlo, as told by Frida Kahlo.” From writing love letters to gardening, this article spills all on the keys to the icon’s life.
- “That is the quality which dance music has — no other: it stirs some barbaric instinct — lulled asleep in our sober lives — you forget centuries of civilization in a second, & yield to that strange passion which sends you madly whirling round the room — oblivious of everything save that you must keep swaying with the music — in & out, round & round — in the eddies & swirls of the violins. It is as though some swift current of water swept you along with it. It is magic music.” Reflect with Virginia Woolf and these other great writers on the power of music.
Bronwen Fetters, executive assistant and program associate:
- As the proud owner of a black cat, I was amused by this New Yorker article that features a book called All Black Cats Are Not Alike. The book highlights black cats from all over New York City and showcases their differences. We meet Sonny, who is a “total mellow dude and loverboy,” as well as Princess, who “waddles like a raccoon.” Though my Hoosier cat Bernadette doesn’t quite meet the geographic requirements for the book, perhaps she can be included in a more global second edition!
- And while I’m on the topic of cats (a “Feline Friday” for me, I suppose), check out this adorably illustrated edition of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Though Eliot is more famous for his modernist poetry like The Wasteland and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” he wrote a batch of poems about cats for his godchildren in the 1930s, and I LOVE them. Fun fact: Andrew Lloyd Webber primarily used the text of these poems as the lyrics for his musical Cats. Cue the Rum Tum Tugger!
Do you have any humanities highlights from your week? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.