Oh, the inhumanities! An English prof on the fate of his field and the Earth

Listen to the episode

Although this program typically centers on visual art, today we’re zooming all the way out to take in “the humanities.” The poor, unappreciated, probably doomed – in academe, at least —  humanities. Dr. William Major chairs the English department at the University of Hartford’s Hillyer College, where I also teach. Recently, he published an essay in the publication Inside Higher Ed that, well, it made me kinda worry about him. As if the decline of the humanities wasn’t disturbing enough, he pairs it with the demise of the planet.

Enjoying Walden Pond while it lasts, Dr. Bill Major and his wife Ginny. And likewise, the humanities in academe.

Relatedly, a recent New Yorker piece, “The End of the English Major,” by Nathan Heller.

‘The most powerful people in the prison are the artists’

Listen to the episode

Artists have something people want, says Jeffrey Greene, manager of the Community Partners in Action’s Prison Arts Program, posing with James D.E. Scott’s The Church of Angels, a sculpture made with acrylic paint, soap (Jergen’s), paper, cardstock, toilet paper, and abrasive cleaning pads.

Today, finding freedom and human connection through art. Art that may just change your mind about people in prison.The annual show, up through April 22, is at Eastern Connecticut State University’s art gallery this year; it rotates around the state so it’s convenient for prisoners’ families to visit. Maybe you’re wondering, why would I go to an exhibit like that? What could a prisoner have to tell me? And why should prisoners even get to make art? Keep listening. Jeff has an answer for you.

For information about visiting the exhibit and helping the cause by donating or volunteering:

Prisons Arts Program

Top row, l-r: Vernon Haynes, Full Woven Samurai Outfits; Cong Doan, Autarky (materials include plastic from underwear box, floor wax with non-dairy creamer and sugar)

2nd row: l-r: Ryan Carpenter, I Don’t Know Why I Run Away; Nicholas Soucy, Apartment Building, Office Building, and Garage Model

3rd row. l-r: MAC: The World is Mine; Monty the Marlin detail showing hundreds of tweezers, and full view

4th row, l-r: MAC: Hater Blockers, Beads of Peace

5th row: l: Carroll Bumgarner Ramos, Scabagail; center top & bottom: Mark Despres: collection and My Pain; right: Mark Despres, The Otherside (back cover of vol 18 of the Journal of the Community Partners in Action Prison Arts Program)

6th row: l-r, Dean Devon, The Otherside of Jamaica; Roderick Lewis, masterworks

7th row: l (top to bottom): Exhibit overviews and Nina Robinson’s wall of Non-stop Painting!!! and r: Johnnie Arthur’s Mother Africa