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It's a Small World Afterall: 2014 Humanities Institute Theme

One characteristic of human life in 2014 is our awareness of ourselves as living in a “globalized” world, where changes in technology (radio, jet travel, television, and the Internet) have led to changes in the conception of global time and space. Migration, economic policies, political institutions, mass media, and popular culture all have led to a world that seems increasingly small – and yet at the same time increasingly distancing for many individuals, localities, and cultures.

While not the first time in human history that the world has seemed to grow smaller, early twenty-first century globalization demands further exploration, not only through the social sciences, but also through the humanities.

The 2014 Summer Humanities Research Institute will focus upon issues of globalization and conceptions of our “small world.” Some possible focuses for study and research include histories of past globalizations; narratives of migration, tourism, and other forms of travel; philosophical investigations of conceptions of space and locality; theological explorations of humanity and its relationship to “the world”; artistic productions that seek to expose or make sense of globalization, hybridity, or crosscultural identities; and other relevant questions as explored through the humanities, defined as the fields of art, history, literature, philosophy, poetry, religious studies, and theology.

During the eight-week symposium, Institute Scholars will examine these questions while working with a faculty mentor to pursue research on a topic in the humanities field of their choice.

Each session will generally begin with a common reading, followed by free-ranging conversations with Scholars and faculty participants sharing their questions, insights, and further research possibilities raised by the texts.