Articles on Humanities

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A ‘no border wall’ sign is held during a rally to oppose the wall the US government wants to build. AP Photo/Eric Gay

What exactly is the point of the border?

Conflicts about policing the border have erupted in much of the world. How people respond depends on the many distinct visions of what borders are meant to be protecting.
The 1947 and 1956 editions of the ‘Green Book,’ which was published to advise black motorists where they should – and shouldn’t – frequent during their travels. Image on the left: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. Image on right: Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.

‘Traveling while black’ guidebooks may be out of print, but still resonate today

From the 1930s to the 1960s, 'The Negro Motorist's Green Book' and 'Travelguide: Vacation and Recreation Without Humiliation' offered African-American roadtrippers lists of black-friendly businesses.
‘Earthrise,’ which appeared on the cover of the second and third Whole Earth Catalog, was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders during lunar orbit, Dec. 24, 1968. NASA

Thing-makers, tool freaks and prototypers: How the Whole Earth Catalog’s optimistic message reinvented the environmental movement in 1968

The Whole Earth Catalog was a blueprint for sustainability that envisioned humans living in balance with nature. Its creative spirit was welcomed in a year riven by war, assassinations and riots.
An aerial view of Seligman, Arizona, looking west, dated March 12, 1971. Route 66 bisects the town. James R. Powell Route 66 Collection/Newberry Library

Could new legislation lead to a Route 66 economic revival?

'The Mother Road' is one step closer to becoming a National Historic Trail, which would allocate funds for struggling towns along the original Route 66.
In Season 3 of ‘Parts Unknown,’ Anthony Bourdain took viewers to Tanzania. CNN

Anthony Bourdain’s window into Africa

When covering Africa, Bourdain rejected the monolithic way media outlets have historically depicted the continent's diverse cultures and populations.
A recent report from RBC Royal Bank predicts increasing workplace demand for foundational skills such as critical thinking, coordination, social perceptiveness, active listening and complex problem solving. Here graduands attend spring convocation at the University of British Columbia in 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

How a humanities degree will serve you in a disruptive economy

A report from RBC Royal Bank reaffirms what thought leaders keep insisting -- there will be more and more demand for a liberal arts education in our increasingly digital world.
Navdeep Bains, Canada’s innovation, science and economic development minister, takes part in a technology event in Ottawa in May 2017. The Canadian government has started up a $1.26-billion fund to support innovation-related business investments. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Is there too much emphasis on STEM fields at universities?

If leaders of educational institutions are concerned about the employability of graduates, they should avoid over-investing in STEM subjects and stop snubbing liberal arts.
If the government expanded the new $73 million Student Work-Integrated Learning program to all students it could help tackle Canada’s most intractable social problems — such as homelessness, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, affordable housing, social cohesion and intercultural understanding.

Government should expand student placements into social sector

A new government program will create 10,000 work placements for undergraduates in only business and STEM subjects. Why not fund students to innovate in the social sector too?
Marble statue of Roman Ceres or Greek Demeter. The Romans inherited their idea of human nature from the Greeks. Shutterstock

The long walk from ‘civilised’ and ‘barbaric’ to a new world view

The Greco-Roman society believed that people weren't born human, they became human. But how can humanity be defined?That's what the project of decolonising the humanities could be dedicated to.

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