Humanities Connection

From politics and religion to race, education and healthcare, Humanities Connection brings together some of New Jersey’s most fascinating people.

Envisioning New Jersey

Aired: November 27, 2016
Book cover - Envisioning New Jersey

Joining Bob Mann are authors Maxine N. Lurie and Richard F. Veit, two leading authorities on New Jersey history.  Lurie and Veit compiled Envisioning New Jersey, a book that explores 650 spectacular images that illuminate the course of the state’s history, from prehistoric times to the present. Readers may think they know New Jersey’s history—the state’s increasing diversity, industrialization, and suburbanization—but the visual record presented here dramatically deepens and enriches that knowledge.


Highland Park African American History Project

Aired: September 25, 2016

Joining Bob Mann is director and producer John Hulme and Andrew Urban, Assistant Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University, for a discussion of the Highland Park African American History Project.

NJCH recently awarded Who Is My Neighbor? an Incubation Grant for an oral history project on Highland Park’s African American Community that will serve as a pilot program for a digital storytelling curriculum. Created in conjunction with Highland Park High School, students are receiving instruction on how to conduct ethnographic/historical research and in audio/video production and postproduction.


The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor


Aired: April 24, 2016

Joining Bob Mann is author Jonathan Rose, to discuss The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor, winner of the 2016 NJCH Scholarly Humanities Book Award.

The Literary Churchill uses Churchill’s career as a best-selling author to explore his actions as a statesman. Award committee members called the book “splendid,” and praised its insight into the man and his times. Dr. Rose is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History at Drew University and a past NJCH Book Award winner.

To learn more and to order visit Yale University Press.


Among the Ruins: Syria Past & Present

among the ruins
Aired: March 27, 2016

Joining Bob Mann is author Christian C. Sahner, to discuss Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present, winner of the 2016 NJCH Popular Humanities Book Award.

Timely and accessible, Among the Ruins illuminates the current civil war in Syria by exploring the country’s long history, including the rise of Christianity, the arrival of Islam, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the emergence of sectarianism. Christian Sahner joins this history to an account of his personal travels in the region, resulting in a compelling blend of history and memoir.

To learn more and to order visit Oxford University Press.


From Ukraine to New Jersey: Louis Lozowick’s Prints of America and American Life

Aired: January 31, 2016

The Queensboro Bridge

Louis Lozowick, Queensboro Bridge, lithograph, 1930, courtesy estate of Louis Lozowick and Mary Ryan Gallery.

Louis Lozowick was an American painter and printmaker who lived in South Orange and incorporated local urban and industrial landscapes and scenes of work into his art. Lozowick’s work was recently featured at an exhibition at Seton Hall University.

Joining Bob Mann to discuss the life and work of Lozowick is Dr. Helen Langa, Associate Professor of Art History at American University, Dr.Petra Chu, Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at Seton Hall Univeristy, and exhibit curator Taylor Curtis.

To learn more about Lozowick and to examine the archives visit From Ukraine to New Jersey.

Alice Paul: The Amelia Roberts Fry Collection

Aired: February 28, 2016

Alice chair
Alice Paul, c. 1917

In this episode of Humanities Connection host Bob Mann examines the legacy of suffragist Alice Paul with Kris Meyers, Program Director at the Alice Paul Institute, and Dr. Jill Zahniser, historian and biographer. The Alice Paul Institute recently acquired collection of historical texts from the estate of Paul biographer Amelia Roberts Fry.

To learn more about Alice Paul and to examine the archives visit

History and Impact of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Aired: October 25, 2015


Happy 50th birthday to the National Endowment for the Humanities! President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act on September 29, 1965. It created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency. “The humanities,” the current legislation declares, “belong to all the people of the United States.”

NEH has awarded more than 63,000 grants since 1965, totaling $5.3 billion, and has leveraged $2.5 billion in private matching donations. That public investment has led to the creation of books, films, museum exhibits, exciting discoveries, and more.

In this episode of Humanities Connection, host Bob Mann examines the history and impact of NEH with NJCH Executive Director, Briann Greenfield, and National Humanities Medalist and former NJCH Board Chair, Stanley N. Katz.


Casey Ruble: Everything that Rises

Aired: September 27, 2015


Earlier this year, the Council awarded a grant to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in support of Casey Ruble: Everything that Rises, an exhibition on memory, rebellion, and the meaning of place. In September, Ms. Ruble sat down with Humanities Connection host Bob Mann to discuss her work and the history behind the places she depicts in her paper collages.

Image: Untitled (Swedesboro), 2015, Paper collage, 8 x 6 inches. Courtesy of Casey Ruble and the Foley Gallery, New York, NY.


Staring Out to Sea: Stories of the Jersey Shore in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Aired: May 31, 2015


On October 29, 2012, the NJ coastline was struck by a devastating storm. With echoes of Katrina swirling through the public imagination, the state braced for inevitable destruction. The storm bore down on the state for two days but left extensive and long-lasting damage in its wake. Ultimately, Sandy resulted in 159 deaths, tens of thousands displaced, and, as of 2013, an estimated $37 billion in damage statewide.

More significantly, it created a network of relationships as victims, volunteers, and state and federal agencies came together to rebuild communities. Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of History at Kean University, is directing Staring out to Sea: The Story of Superstorm Sandy in Three Bayshore Communities, an oral history project that is documenting the stories of that network; it chronicles the experiences of the residents, business owners, politicians and policymakers, volunteers and relief workers, and the federal agencies that set out to support and manage these efforts.

Social Justice in Young Adult Literature

Aired: April 26, 2015


Laura Nicosia, Associate Professor of English at Montclair State University, discusses how young adult literature explores themes of racial, social, and economic inequality – and how teachers can use these texts to engage their students in nuanced discussions of these issues.

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