The year 2020 feels like an onslaught of catastrophes. Most of us feel like we’re drowning in a flood of contradictory news and information, and feeling panic, hopelessness, and despair as a result.
But above every flood is the water’s surface, a place where we can breathe and survey our surroundings. This fall, Humanities Washington presents a live online conversation series to give us the wide view of our troubling times. Humanity has been here before, from pandemics to political turmoil to racial injustice, and experts on a variety of topics will help us understand 2020 in the context of history. Where is all this going, and where can we find hope? Join us to help navigate the most tumultuous year most of us have experienced in our lifetimes.
DECEMBER 9 | 6:00 p.m.
Set in Stone: What Should We Do with Controversial Monuments?
Washington State has a park named after Jefferson Davis and an elementary school named after Robert E. Lee. What purpose do these memorials now serve? Do these statues remind us of what should never happen again, or do they glorify injustice and racism? In the wake of a summer where statues have been toppled or removed throughout the US, join us to discuss our year of monuments, memory, and reckoning. How do we confront a racist past without mythologizing it?
OCTOBER 27 | 6:00 p.m.
Democracy’s Ghosts: Fear and Hope in the 2020 Election
The week before the election, join professors Christopher Parker, Travis Ridout, and Johann Neem for a free online discussion exploring the dynamics shaping the 2020 election. American democracy has never fully lived up to its ideals, but how bad have things become in comparison? How have the two presidential campaigns reflected our tumultuous and polarized era? Is American democracy in danger, or is there reason for hope?
OCTOBER 13 | 6:00 p.m.
Envy and Resentment in the Time of Coronavirus
As we’ve faced a year of COVID and political and social unrest, online interactions can become so toxic that taking a break from them has become synonymous with self-care. Join professor Sara Protasi of the University of Puget Sound for a talk about two emotions: envy and resentment, and how they affect our online interactions during these troubled times.