The first week of October has been filled with interesting humanities finds. Check out a few favorites below.
Kristen Fuhs Wells, director of communications and development:
- New York has e-short stories for its trains, now France has printed short stories, dispensed at train stations while you wait. Either way, I love the ways we’re getting creative to bring literature to people, even in small doses.
- Actress Emma Thompson spent a week in the arctic and this is what she learned: It’s not just about the ice, it’s about the people. Read her short diary-like entries about the wisdom she learned from the Inuit elders, how much a coke costs and her chores on the ship in this lovely sneak peek into life in the arctic.
Bronwen Fetters, executive assistant and program associate:
- My favorite month is finally here! Here are ten books you should read in October according to the BBC.
- This fascinating article from the New York Times talks about the tight, responsive community of people who care for rare books and the swift collaboration that occurs when books get stolen.
Leah Nahmias, director of programs:
- Archaeological mystery: how did Roman coins end up in a 12th century Japanese dig site? Let’s imagine the backstory that brought these artifacts such a long journey through time and space.
- NPR’s been running a series called “Unsung Museums” about little-known, often quirky collections in out of the way places. J’adore!
- Do you know the history of Esperanto? I first learned about it in a college class at IU called Jews and Cosmopolitanism—and recently reencountered it in an essay from the LA Review of Books. The idealistic inventor of the language, Polish Jew Ludwig Zamenhof, hoped to create a universal language to counter the raging nationalisms of his time, envisioning a time when all humans could easily communicate with each other and misunderstandings—and war—would end. It’s interesting to trace the origins of the Esperanto movement to the particular historical circumstances that led to its creation.
George Hanlin, director of grants:
- This week I had the honor of visiting IU South Bend’s Civil Rights Heritage Center to attend a lecture that Indiana Humanities helped to fund with one of our grants. The Civil Rights Heritage Center is housed in the former Engman Public Natatorium, which banned African Americans from the time it opened in 1922 until 1936 (and which wasn’t fully integrated until 1950). The center’s website tells the story of the natatorium, with a video describing the heroic efforts that South Bend’s African American community undertook to bring about change.
- At the other end of the state, the residents of Lyles Station are celebrating their community’s prominent placement in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Washington Post tells the touching story of how a group of them headed to Washington to take part in the museum’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Jacqueline Cromleigh, communications and community relations manager:
- The revival of “Gilmore Girls” has had many in my generation excited about the return of our favorite fast-talking duo. In honor of the show’s upcoming return to Netflix, I had to share a list of all 339 books referenced in the series. Rory’s bookish tendencies were always such a delightful part of the show!
- As a lover of Instagram, I found this overview of the company’s new offices quite enjoyable. Take a look at the new digs, complete with 3-D versions of the app perfect for snapping that next shot.
Keira Amstutz, president and CEO:
- Can poetry make cities better? Can poetry be a way to experience and understand our environment more richly? I loved this article by the Guardian arguing that “cities are built with language.” I immediately thought about the great Tony Styxx video for No Mean City.
- Trees fascinate me. As a young girl, I became very attached to the trees in our yard including a thorny mulberry. My grandfather hated the tree because the birds ate the fruit and left purple deposits all over his car. When he decided to cut it down, I staged a sit-in to try to protect it. I lost. Nowadays, I find inspiration in the beauty, architecture and majesty of trees and found this article describing the symbolism of trees in art fascinating. Thank you to our friends at Big Car for sharing it!
Do you have any humanities highlights from your week? We would love to hear from you in the comment section below.