Green Humanities | The Humanities in the Age of Loneliness: Repairing a Broken World
Drawing on E. O. Wilson’s renaming of the Anthropocene as the Eremocene, or The Age of Loneliness, this talk considers the crisis of climate change also as a Constitutional crisis. It looks to the revolutionary idealism and citizenry which forged the American Constitution, with principles grounded in the humanities, as potential antidotes to this situation and argues that humanities educators must play a central role in the implementation of these antidotes. To do so, we need to avoid a capitulation to narrow definitions of value that evade the nuance and complexity so ingrained in the humanities and to broaden our conceptions of our profession and our pedagogy.
Robert D. Newman is the president and director of the National Humanities Center, the only independent institute for advanced study in the world dedicated exclusively to the humanities. He was previously Dean of the College of Humanities, Professor of English, and Associate Vice President for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Utah where he was widely recognized for dramatically increasing support for the college, expanding its programs, and broadening campus diversity. In addition to establishing a new Humanities building on campus, he established the first country’s graduate program in Environmental Humanities and led the creation of the Taft/Nicholson Center for Environmental Humanities in Centennial Valley, Montana. He also has held faculty appointments at the University of South Carolina where he was English department Chair, Texas A&M University, and the College of William and Mary.
Dr. Newman was trained as a literary scholar, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his scholarship has focused on twentieth-century English literature and culture and narrative theory. He has published six books, numerous articles, reviews and poems, and has received awards not only for his scholarship but also for his institutional leadership and teaching. For the past nineteen years, he has been General Editor of the “Cultural Frames, Framing Culture” series published by University of Virginia Press. Recently, he was celebrated as a Distinguished Alumnus as both Penn State and the university of North Carolina.
Since assuming leadership of the National Humanities Center in 2015, Dr. Newman has been dedicated to broadening the Center’s scholarly mission, diversity, programming and educational outreach as well as to encouraging vibrant public engagement with, and national advocacy for, the humanities.
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