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Stanford Humanities Center

Stanford Humanities Center

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The Stanford Humanities Center: researching the human experience.

The Stanford Humanities Center sponsors advanced research into the historical, philosophical, literary, artistic, and cultural dimensions of the human experience. Humanities scholars explore the many ways in which people, from every period of history and from every corner of the globe, encounter and address the challenges of our world. Humanities research preserves the great accomplishments of the past, helps us understand the world we live in, and gives us tools to imagine the future.


31 Jan 2014

Rank #1

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Stegner Fellows on Writing

Recent Stanford Stegner fellows discuss the pleasures and pains of writing fiction at the Litquake literary festival.


17 Jan 2014

Rank #2

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Who Owns Antiquity? Museums, Repatriation, and Armed Conflict

The last ten years, in particular, have been dominated by discussions of cultural property--either its destruction in zones of military conflict or its involvement in litigation and claims for repatriation. This lecture reviews recent developments in the art and antiquities market, the shifting acquisition policies in museums, and cultural heritage training programs for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

24 Nov 2013

Rank #3

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A Company of Authors: The World as We Imagine It

(April 20, 2013) Authors and Stanford scholars John Bender, Saikat Majumdar, and Joshua Landy read from their latest published books during the 10th annual “A Company of Authors” conference at Stanford University.


16 May 2013

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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History, Memory, and the Novel

(February 11, 2013) Juan Gabriel Vasquez shares his experiences as a Latin American author and his personal writing process. In addition, he talks about the landscape of Latin American literature and how he thinks his work interacts with other prominent authors.

6 Mar 2013

Rank #5

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The Embodied Theater: Cognitive Science and Ancient Greek Drama

(November 8, 2012) Peter Meineck suggests new methods for approaching ancient drama using research drawn from the cognitive sciences.

29 Nov 2012

Rank #6

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Wallace Stevens as an American Poet

Helen Vendler discusses Wallace Stevens, the poet. She dives into some of his work in order to show why he is one of the finest American poets to set ink to paper. (January 17, 2012)


21 Jan 2012

Rank #7

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The Best Novels You Haven't Read

Literary scholars share their thoughts about the novel as a literary form during the 2011 Litquake Festival. (October 10, 2011)


21 Nov 2011

Rank #8

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Art of Living: "A Life of Reason? Socrates v. Alcibiades"

Lani Anderson questions the characters Socrates claim in Plato's Symposium that we only desire what we lack. The excerpt is from a lecture from "The Art of Living." (September 29, 2010)


21 Nov 2011

Rank #9

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Art of Living: "What One Should Learn from Artists"

Joshua Landy introduces his lecture on Friedrich Nietzche's The Gay Science from "The Art of Living," a first-year Introduction to Humanities course and examines the ways in which life can be transformed by art. (November 8, 2010)


21 Nov 2011

Rank #10

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Art of Living: "The Narrative Construction of the Self"

Kenneth Taylor discusses the "Who Am I?" problem in the context of Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon during a lecture from "The Art of Living." (November 17, 2010)


21 Nov 2011

Rank #11

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Mistaken Identities: How to Identify a Roman Emperor

Mary Beard, a well-renowned Classicist, discusses the difficulties of identifying old roman sculptures and what she believes this process tells us about ancient cultures. (September 29, 2011)

1hr 4mins

28 Oct 2011

Rank #12

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A Company of Authors: "East and West"

A panel of Stanford authors present their recently published books. Their respective books are titled Wandering Soul, An Invisible Rope, Myth of the Great Satan/The Shah, and Why the West Rules-For Now. (April 23, 2011)


10 Jun 2011

Rank #13

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How the Right Brain Helped Me Make a Billion, Win a Basketball Game, and Land this Gig

Vivek Ranadive, Founder and CEO of TIBCO, has had incredible success in the business world and has a deep technology based skill set. He discusses how innovation in the 21st century will be driven by right brain thinking. (May 11, 2011)


6 Jun 2011

Rank #14

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Silicon Valley Entry Points for Humanities Ph.D.s: Google

Marissa Mayer discusses the ways in which Google incorporates the humanities in innovation. (May 11, 2011)


6 Jun 2011

Rank #15

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Why You Should Quit Your Technology Job and Get a Humanities Ph.D.

Dr. Damon Horowitz is a philosopher and entrepreneur, exploring what is possible at the intersection of technology and the humanities. He discusses the value of a humanities Ph.D. (May 11, 2011)


6 Jun 2011

Rank #16

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Bringing Humanities Ph.D. Innovation to Silicon Valley: A Case for Rising Principles

Patrick Byrne, CEO and founder of Overstock.com, is deeply involved in the world market and the use of the internet as means of doing business. He explains how his diverse academic background has given him an incredibly unique skill set. (May 11, 2011)


6 Jun 2011

Rank #17

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Polis: The Greek City-State 800 BC-AD 600

John Ma discusses the Polis, the Greek for of a city-state, and how it was organized politically as well as socially for around twelve centuries. (April 14, 2011)

1hr 19mins

25 May 2011

Rank #18

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Music Between Nature and Architecture

Leon Botstein talks about the relationship between music and architecture in a natural setting and how different periods show the different connections between the two seemingly distinct fields. (April 26, 2011)

1hr 15mins

25 May 2011

Rank #19

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A Conversation with Tim O'Brien on "Writing and War"

Tim O'Brien discusses the ethical issues raised by war with author Tobias Wolff. The two authors delve deeply into the less discussed issues of war and how it is portrayed in writing. (January 24, 2011)

1hr 26mins

3 Feb 2011

Rank #20