The Importance of Studying Humanities

Moral and political philosophy become sterile when they do not engage creatively with art, especially with literature. This is a revised excerpt of a talk given to students at the Inaugural Australian Youth Humanities Forum, hosted at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus. After two days at this fine conference, you will know more than[…]

Seven Unexpected Things That Libraries Offer Besides Books

With advancements in technology, libraries are offering much more than something to read. A library researcher offers a sampling of some unexpected items that library patrons can check out these days. Local libraries are often thought of as places to check out books or engage in some silent reading. But libraries offer so much more than just[…]

Notre Dame Echoes of Russia’s 1837 Winter Palace Blaze

After the building that symbolized ‘all that is Russian’ went up in flames, the czar scrambled to restore it to its former glory. In a city graced with remarkable architecture, the cathedral of Notre Dame may be Paris’ most striking edifice. So when it was engulfed by a fire that toppled its spire, it seemed as if[…]

Notre Dame: Nine Centuries of Change, Renovation, and Renewal

The Notre Dame Cathedral wasn’t static. The design, as with most cathedrals, kept changing to keep up with the changing times. The Notre-Dame de Paris had been damaged and changed many times since it was begun in the mid-12th century. But the fire on April 15 might have been its most catastrophic event. Located on the eastern end[…]

Following a New Trail of Crumbs to Agriculture’s Origins

Archaeologists have found tiny pieces of ancient bread from hunter-gatherers that predate agriculture by about 4,000 years. It’s mid-August in 2013, and we are working in the dry heat of the Jordanian Harra basalt desert. It is the last week of our second season of excavations at the 14,500-year-old archaeological site called Shubayqa 1. We[…]