Speakers Emphasize the Human in Humanities

By George Chaffin

Although multiple distinguished artists and educators are scheduled to come to campus this fall, York College has already experienced a variety of cultural artists, all eager to share their stories.

Kelly Gibson, the director of communication and engagement for the Cultural Alliance of York, was one of many speakers included in York College’s humanities lecture series. On Sept. 17, Gibson spoke about how the arts can positively impact the community. She discussed the meaning of art in detail and how one piece can mean something different to each person. By looking at art in the community, Gibson hopes to spread a lasting love of the arts and the humanities through her county. She also discussed how the arts were brought to delinquent children, positively impacting and changing their lives.

Gibson left her audience with a question to ponder: “Everyone is different. What is art to you?”

Doris Summer, a professor at Harvard University, was also part of York College’s lecture series. On Sept. 24, Summer discussed humanities and how they have impacted education. She believes that education should focus less on math and science and more on the humanities and the English language.

“The classics are so important for an educated society,” she said.

Summer believes public education is the basis for a democratic society and that people are hungry for knowledge in a way they have never been before. Summer said the humanities help to bring people together.    

Lynn Tomlinson, Ken Osowski and Victor Taylor collaborated on Sept. 9 to give a panel discussion that defined the humanities. They talked about how the arts and humanities should connect and cultivate civic rigor and produce public entertainment. They said that animation and music could produce public entertainment by allowing us to experience the art.

To the three speakers, the humanities are a subject that one can only experience through hands-on, personal experiences; they cannot be taught in a classroom. These artists gave the audiences examples of how to change the world through creativity, as well as provided the students and faculty of York College with new ways of learning, thinking and teaching.

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