"The more technologically sophisticated we are, the more deeply we need to understand one another. [We need] to teach people empathy, because empathy does not come naturally; to encourage curiosity in broad and diverse ways. And the humanities does those things," says Obermann Director Teresa Mangum in a new film, The Centrality of the Humanities, produced by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. A diverse array of speakers -- humanities faculty, scientists, and politicians -- champion the importance of the humanities not only to undergraduate education but across our society. The film documents the current status of a the humanities, a situation some of have called a crisis, with statistics, which show that the federal spending for the humanities is now below the amount allocated in 1972. At the same time, the film offers a vivid account of the many ways organizations like the Warren Center and the Obermann Center support scholarly research, encourage groundbreaking collaborations, and help campuses create intellectual community.
Thursday, November 21, 2013