Humanities Connection

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

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.

The Armenian Genocide

Aired: March 29, 2015

"Armenians marched by Turkish soldiers, 1915" by anonymous German traveler - Project SAVE. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

“Armenians marched by Turkish soldiers” Anonymous, 1915. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

April 24, 2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, during which an estimated 1 to 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were systemically exterminated by the Ottoman Empire. Khatchig Mouradian, Coordinator of the Armenian Genocide Program at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, discusses the individual experiences and ethical challenges related to the 100th anniversary.

Kea’s Ark of Newark

Aired: January 25, 2015

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Mark Krasovic, Associate Director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, explores the history and meaning of Kea’s Ark, a boatlike structure built in Newark’s Central Ward in the mid-1980s that was a flashpoint for debates about public art and urban development.

The Great Dissent

Aired: February 22, 2015


No right seems more fundamental to American life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. In this episode Seton Hall law professor Thomas Healy discuss his book The Great Dissent, winner of the 2014 New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book of the Year Award, which reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

A Chance to Win

Aired: October 26, 2014


When Rodney Mason, an ex-con drug dealer from Newark’s rough South Ward, was shot and paralyzed, he vowed to turn his life around. A former high-school pitching ace with a 93 mph fastball, Mason decided to form a Little League team to help boys avoid the street life that had claimed his youth and mobility. In this episode Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jonathan Schuppe discuss his book A Chance to Win, winner of the NJ350 History and Culture Book Award, which tells the story of Mason and his team, both on and off the field.

The 1964 Paterson Riot: Three Days That Changed a City

Aired: September 28, 2014


2014 marks the 50th anniversary of The 1964 Paterson Riot, at a time when the nation is again re-examining its racial legacy and history of conflict. Over three days in 1964, August 11-13, an inner city neighborhood in Paterson, NJ was torn by violence. In this episode authors George Lipsitz and Richard Polton discuss their new book The 1964 Paterson Riot: Three Days That Changed a City, which argues that in order to understand those events, the Paterson of 1964 has to be explored.

Interview with NJCH Executive Director Briann Greenfield

Aired: July 1, 2014
Briann Greenfield
Briann Greenfield, Executive Director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, talks about her background and moving to New Jersey, gives a definition for the term humanities, and explains how people can seek support from NJCH.

Legacy of 1967 and 1974 Newark Riots

Michelle Chase, Exhibit Director of Newark 1974: Remembering the Puerto Rican Riots at Bloomfield College, and Yesenia Lopez, Project Archivist at the NJ Hispanic Research & Information Center at the Newark Public Library, discuss the legacy of the 1967 and 1974 Newark Riots and the future of the exhibit currently at Bloomfield College.

Legacy of 1967 and 1974 Newark Riots

1 2 3 6
Latest Episodes:
Select an Episode

Join our Email List