This issue of Perspectives takes readers on a tour of the various spaces occupied
by the College of Humanities. Each space offers a unique point of entry to the college
and collectively underscore the evolving role of the humanities on the U campus and
in the community. Read the Issue
Comm 3520 explores radio journalism and exposes students to news writing, reporting,
covering a beat, interviewing sources and producing news for broadcast.
Doug Bowser, President of Nintendo of America, majored in the humanities at the University
of Utah knowing the skills he would obtain – writing, communication, creative thinking
and problem solving – would benefit him in any career path. Click Here to Watch
Our Commitment to Inclusivity
Click below to read our Commitment on Inclusivity Statement.
The humanities teach us to question the world around us in order to better understand
our place within it. In the humanities, we seek to understand the nuances of cultural
issues, to interpret human experience, and to appreciate the power of words and ideas.
By studying humanities, we broaden our historical, ethical, social and international
perspectives while enhancing ourselves intellectually and creatively.
In his 1993 essay, “Black to the Future,” the cultural critic Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism.” He defined Afrofuturism as a genre of speculative fiction which “addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture” and which includes “images of technology and a prosthetically enhanced future.” In the thirty years since its coinage, the term has infiltrated literary and academic discourse, and become a popular and powerful framework for imagining Black futures. But Andrew Shephard, assistant professor in English at the University of Utah, wants to push back on one basic aspect of Afrofuturism: its emphasis on the future.
I was standing on a subway platform in Brooklyn, NY in April as the sun was just hitting the top of the station. I was on the phone with my parents who were back home, almost four hundred miles away in Norwood, NY. I was finishing my gap year between my undergraduate degree and the start of my graduate program at the University of Utah in the fall. I had just gotten the news that I would be working with the Tanner Humanities Center to help facilitate events with writers and humanists on campus.
On November 14th, the Digital Matters Lab at the J. Willard Marriott Library will host “Embodied Ecologies,” a collaborative exhibition focused on disability, environmental health and community care practices in Salt Lake City. Rooted in a partnership between the Environmental Humanities graduate program housed in the College of Humanities at the University of Utah and Art Access, a local non-profit organization dedicated to increasing accessibility in the arts, the “Embodied Ecologies” installation will bring together the work of seven U affiliated artists working in sculpture, poetry, textile, paint, film and mixed media.
Karen Marsh Schaeffer has accepted the position of director of student success and engagement for the University of Utah’s College of Humanities and will begin November 16. Marsh Schaeffer will direct and oversee operations and strategic planning of student service functions and will act as the liaison for departments, faculty, staff, students and external entities to ensure continuity and quality of student services.
There have always been Jewish communities in Africa and since the advent of the internet, more groups have become more widely known. These deeply rooted Jewish communities partake in religious practices which were previously outlawed by European colonizers (such as male circumcision, Saturday Sabbath, menstrual seclusion, etc.), as well as customs such as animal sacrifice, which are no longer practiced in Rabbinic Judaism. Many members of these groups have thought themselves to be descendants from the Lost Tribes – the Ten Tribes of Israel which were supposedly exiled from Israel in 722 BCE. European colonizers and missionaries believed such groups to be part of these tribes because, according to the Old Testament in the Bible, only Jews performed these practices.
In 2016, a C-Span call went viral when a white caller who proclaimed himself prejudiced asked Heather McGhee, author of “The Sum of Us, What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” how to overcome his racial bias and be a better American. She graciously thanked him for acknowledging his fears and prejudices and outlined a path forward by providing achievable changes to mend racial divides. She advised him – and everyone – to get to know black families, join a black church, understand that nightly news over-represents black crime and under-represents white crime and to become educated about the history of African Americans in this country.
In Utah today, we can look around the Salt Lake Valley and point out landmarks. The Great Salt Lake. Millcreek Canyon. The Oquirrh Mountains. But to the Western Shoshone, the Great Salt Lake is Pia-pa or Titsa-pa, meaning “great water” or “bad water.” Millcreek Canyon is Tempin-Tekkoappah, “rock trap.” To the Goshute, the Oquirrhs are called Apa-ya-wi-up, “place of the weeping ancestors.”
These places all had other names before.
The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Karen Marsh Schaeffer of University of Utah for a six-month virtual English Language Specialist project focusing on student motivation and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in Russia at Dostoevsky Omsk State University. Marsh Schaeffer is part of a select group, as her project is one of approximately 240 that the English Language Specialist Program supports each year.
The Department of Communication is pleased to announce that Kent A. Ono, professor of communication, has been named a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. Ono is the first representative from the University of Utah to receive the honor. The recognition is given to those who have attained “a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. Recipients are selected to showcase the communication profession.”