Humanities Now is the official podcast of the Humanities Center at Texas Tech. Each month, we feature conversations with members of the humanities community at Texas Tech University. With every episode, these varied voices help us realize the Center’s mission: asking out loud, “What does it mean to be human?” and demonstrating how can we answer that question from so many different perspectives.
Our Theme for 2023-2024 is Value/Values!
On the first episode of our new season, Michael Borshuk introduces our programming theme for 2023-2024, Value/Values. Speaking about recent volatile debates in American universities about fiscal responsibility and academic programming, we find our way into some of the questions we will be pursuing this year. Next we hear from Paul Reinsch, who previews the film series we will host this year at Alamo Drafthouse in Lubbock, before we move to a brief note of introduction from our new Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanities, historian Kevan Q. Malone.
Some of the sources Michael Borshuk cites in the episode:
Liam Knox, "Slimming Down to Stay Afloat," https://www.insidehighered.com/news/business/cost-cutting/2023/05/03/slimming-down-stay-afloat
Lisa M. Corrigan, "The Evisceration of a Public University," https://www.thenation.com/article/society/wvu-cuts-higher-education/
Lora Kelley, "How Corporate Jargon Can Obscure Reality," https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/09/corporate-jargon-layoffs-workplace/675430/
Kasey Turman and Taylor Stumbaugh, "Miami University considers eliminating majors in the humanities," https://www.journal-news.com/news/miami-university-considers-eliminating-majors-in-the-humanities/KZFLPVB4X5BCNLBBI2SDNMT7XU/
Madison Montag, "Gettysburg College Ends Award-winning Literary Publication of 35 Years," https://www.pennlive.com/news/2023/10/gettysburg-college-ends-award-winning-literary-publication-of-35-years.html
Living with #longcovid: A Conversation with Dr. Bill Poirier
On this episode, Michael Borshuk speaks with Dr. Bill Poirier, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Joint Professor of Physics, and Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Awardee at Texas Tech. In a very personal conversation, Bill shares his experience with Long COVID Syndrome, including his own research and approach to recovery, and how his symptoms have affected his academic career. As the conversation reveals, Bill is a very local representative of the global patient-driven community that helped all of us understand the complexities of the coronavirus these past few years.
Some of the material discussed in this episode:
Felicity Callard and Elisa Perego, "How and why patients made Long Covid" Amali U. Lokugamage and Clare Rayner, "The Rehabilitation of Long Covid Requires Understanding of Not Just the Biomedical Dimensions But All Aspects of Being Human"The Mayo Clinic on Post-COVID Syndrome (An interactive course)
A Conversation about Art and The Body with Ghi Fremaux and Lando Valdez
As we continue the Humanities Center's year-long Health theme we move to a conversation about art and the body with Texas Tech School of Art faculty member Ghi Fremaux and her collaborative partner Lando Valdez. As As Ghi and Lando discuss with Michael Borshuk, the paintings they produce extend a long history of visual examination of the body as they put critical pressure on why we’re often so quick to separate the medical from the aesthetic in how we think about our physical selves.
See images of Ghi and Lando's work here. For some of the research mentioned at the beginning of the episode, see here and here.
A Conversation on Public Health with Dr. Paul Bjerk and Dr. Heri Tungaraza
On this episode, a special feature to continue our ongoing conversation about health: a conversation between one of the members of our Health programming theme this year, TTU History professor Dr. Paul Bjerk, and Dr. Heri Tungaraza, a Tanzanian oncologist committed to the well-being of low-income earners, and an activist practitioner in matters of public health.
Our Theme for 2022-2023 is Health!
As we return from hiatus to begin a new season, we introduce the Humanities Center's programming theme for 2022-2023: "Health." This year, we will imagine multiple ways of being healthy, and critique definitions of wellness or ability. We will close the gap between the mind and the body. We hear from multiple members of this year's programming theme: Dr. Julie Zook (Architecture), Dr. Jacob Baum (History), Dr. Victoria Sutton (Law), Dr. Emily Skidmore (History), and Dr. Paul Reinsch (Theatre and Dance). Across these five conversations we see the range of humanities perspectives we will bring to our theme this year, and the variety of questions that will shape our events.
Happy Anniversary to Women's and Gender Studies: Elissa Zellinger and Julie Willett in Conversation
On our season finale, we wish a happy fortieth anniversary to Texas Tech's Women's and Gender Studies program by talking at length with two WGS-affiliated faculty members about their recent books. Dr. Elissa Zellinger from the Department of English speaks with us her book Lyrical Strains and its attention to nineteenth-century American poetry and the figure of the "poetess." Next, Dr. Julie Willett from the Department of History discusses her recent history of the male chauvinist pig--as a trope in American popular culture and as an influence on political discourse over the past few decades.
For more on Elissa Zellinger's Lyrical Strains: Liberalism and Women's Poetry in Nineteenth-Century America, see https://uncpress.org/book/9781469659817/lyrical-strains/.
For more on Julie Willett's The Male Chauvinist Pig: A History, see https://uncpress.org/book/9781469661070/the-male-chauvinist-pig/.