Humanities LIVED – You SHOULD

Should—the word has a hint of urgency, a bit of bossiness, and even a dash of guilt. Here, it is mostly a suggestion about something that inspired passion. Thus, you really should.

 

Every few weeks UCHI will interview a member of the UConn faculty or staff who will offer a recommendation of a book, film, piece of music, podcast, or other inspiring work in the humanities that should be consumed far and wide.
Our series is part of a new initiative, HUMANITIES LIVED, a project created to communicate the value the humanities provide beyond academia: the value of living enriched and inspired.

You SHOULD…Play: Horizon Zero Dawn

“You should immerse yourself in new, strange, and sometime dystopian worlds through playing video games such as:   Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerrilla Games   Any of the Fallout Series by Bethesda Game Studios   I recommend playing any of these recent action/role-playing games as a way to experience multiple types of creative output at […]

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You SHOULD…Read: Frankenstein and Black Skin, White Masks

“I recommend reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) and Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952) together.  Shelley was an anti-colonialist who was also concerned with the great question of what it means to be a human being, especially as posed by the Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  The novel raises the problem […]

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You SHOULD…Read: “The Fifth Season”

“You should read … N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. To identify this book as “fantasy” or “post-apocalyptic,” while accurate, would also be wholly inadequate. At its core, The Fifth Season is a novel about power, oppression, and the costs—physical, emotional, and psychological—of living in a world that denies your humanity so thoroughly that you cannot […]

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You SHOULD…Look At: The “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage”

“You SHOULD…Look at the “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World” from the New Bedford Whaling Museum   With the omnipresence of digital culture, we often tend to think of our society as a predominately visual culture. The 1848 “Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage ‘Round the World,” a 1,275-foot-long painting performed as a […]

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You SHOULD…Read: The Making of Black Lives Matter

“‘What you should read, see, and hear?’ You should read The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea (Oxford University Press, 2017) by political theorist, Christopher J. Lebron, because he reminds us that the philosophical underpinnings of the #BlackLivesMatter movement predate the contemporary movement.  Analyzing the treatment of “Black” people over time, […]

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You SHOULD…Read: “The Black Jacobins”

       “Reading C.L.R. James’s brilliant account of the Haitian Revolution could not come at a more appropriate time. Written in 1938, The Black Jacobins remains arguably the most powerful historical narration of a revolutionary struggle that continues fundamentally to affect us today. It traces the history of the army of rebellious slaves in […]

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You SHOULD…Read: “In the Heart of the Sea”

“You should read In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick   If you have ever read or even heard of the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville; if you have ever had an inkling of interest in New England history; or if you have ever wondered about […]

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You SHOULD…Read: “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows”

    “One of my Saturday afternoon pleasures is to browse the new fiction section at my local public library.  Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows beckoned even as I was skeptical of yet another immigrant narrative, albeit of a young Sikh woman in London.  But I was in for a hilarious surprise.  Nikki, a Sikh […]

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You SHOULD…See: “In Between”

“You should see “In Between,” a film currently showing at Real Art Ways in Hartford. It’s a wonderful film about three very different Palestinian women sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv, and the film follows their challenges and triumphs to balance traditional life with modernity. One is a successful attorney, one is a lesbian who […]

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You SHOULD…Read: “The Power”

“You should read Naomi Alderman’s The Power.   In which women suddenly develop the ability to overpower men by projecting electrical currents from their hands. This causes a revolution in gender relations and, eventually, world politics. Men are at first puzzled, then alarmed, and finally subjugated.   The bio-mechanics are easily understood – women develop […]

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You SHOULD…Host: a Carpool Karaoke

“We all spend so much of our days “in our heads” with thoughts of work, fascinating projects, and the world around us.  Often, when I get into the sanctuary that is my own car, I am able to release some of the pressure of the day by tuning into music that awakens my inner Katy […]

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You SHOULD…Watch: “Battlestar Galactica”

  “You should… sample widely.  More on this in a second, but if I have to foreground a single recommendation it’s this: the new Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009). In some of the tightest, most compelling storytelling I’ve ever seen on film, this series asks profound questions about belief, belonging, sentience, servitude, family, survival, politics, power, responsibility, […]

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You SHOULD… Listen To: Three Soundtracks

“I confess I have procrastinated with this assignment, though I was excited and honored to be asked. I’ve felt squeamish sharing what you “should” listen to or look at or read. I realized my reaction comes from two places. First, I typically seek recommendations rather than give them. Second, as someone with a doctorate in […]

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You SHOULD…Read:The Outermost House

  “People should read, or re-read, Henry Beston’s 1928 classic, The Outermost House. Set among the dunes of outer Cape Cod, Beston’s essay traces a year of changing seasons, visiting coastal species, and mild reflections on modern life. Since its publication, the book has emerged as a principle contribution to the canon of American nature […]

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You SHOULD…Read: The Adivasi Will Not Dance

“You must read The Adivasi Will Not Dance, a collection of ten short stories by Hansda Sowendra Shekhar, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, 2015 (The National India Academy of Letters Award, 2015). Shekhar collected stories of Santhal tribes (scheduled tribes of India are pre-nation state indigenous communities) while working as a medical officer […]

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You SHOULD…Confront Racism in the Digital Realm

“You Should…Confront Racism in the Digital Realm”   A teach-in moderated by Professor Anke Finger and featuring Professors Kelly Dennis, Anne Mae Duane, Bhakti Shringarpure and Ph.D. candidate Matt Guariglia.   The “You Should…” pulls from a new program UCHI started to make the humanities more personal and urgent (http://humanities.uconn.edu/humanities-lived-you-should/) and “Confront Racism” is the […]

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You SHOULD….Listen…and also read by Bhakti Shringarpure

I’m almost always more comfortable laying down the law on what you should NOT be doing so I’m glad to dig deep and find my inner positivity. The should-LISTEN these days is the Politically Re-active podcast series with comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu. They talk to writers, professors and activists and its all a […]

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You SHOULD…Go on Holiday By Kristin Eshelman

Holiday was created in 1946 for “a world in which recreation will be more important to everyone than ever before – more important in this busier world of new stresses and strains because more and more doctors are prescribing escape, and travel, and fun.”  For three decades, the travel magazine promoted the advice of neurologist […]

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