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 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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“‘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, […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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, […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
“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 […][Read More]
Race and gender disparities. Factional hostility breaking out into violence. Struggles for adequate health care. The right to vote. Although these phrases seem “ripped from the headlines” today, in fact they represent conditions in the US a century and a half ago in which women in nursing found themselves struggling for […][Read More]
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 […][Read More]
At the risk of gross self-promotion, I would recommend my book The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale University Press, 2016). When I researched and wrote the book over a period of ten years, I could hardly have anticipated how much it spoke to contemporary issues. The book, which expands the chronology of abolition […][Read More]
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 […][Read More]