Knight Library at night

Oregon Humanities Center

We at the Oregon Humanities Center oppose and condemn structural racism against Black people and all people of color; we stand in solidarity with the movement for Black Lives and racial justice.

“[I]n order to deal with the untapped and dormant force of the previously subjugated, in order to survive as a human, moving, moral weight in the world, America and all the Western nations will be forced to reëxamine themselves and release themselves from many things that are now taken to be sacred, and to discard nearly all the assumptions that have been used to justify their lives and their anguish and their crimes so long.”
—James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

The arts and humanities sustain and teach us during times of social crisis, upheaval, and conflict. For four hundred years, anti-Black racism has been institutionalized in the United States. Today, as we have witnessed with shock and disgust the senseless state-sanctioned murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, the arts and the humanities must help us recognize, respect, and honor Black people and their lives, and listen to, hear, and learn from their voices and experiences.

To that end, we offer a selection of talks and interviews with Black colleagues, scholars, artists, writers, and public intellectuals from the video archives of the Oregon Humanities Center.

Click to watch previously recorded events from spring term:

Watch Marc Carpenter’s Work-in-Progress talk
“Memory and Erasure of Settler Violence in Early Oregon, 1848-1928”

Watch Leonard Mlodinow’s lecture
“Elastic: Flexible Thinking for our Time of Change”

Watch Roy Chan’s Work-in-Progress talk
“How Should a Communist Grieve?: Ba Jin’s Revolutionary Mourning

Watch John Frohnmayer’s lecture
“What is the Role of Ethics in a Post-Truth World?”
Read John Frohnmayer’s essay: 

Watch Lindsey Mazurek’s Work-in-Progress talk
“Embodying Isis: Egyptian Religion and the Negotiation of Greekness”

Watch Erin Hanna’s book talk:
Only at Comic-Con: Hollywood, Fans, and the Limits of Exclusivity

Watch past lectures and UO Today interviews on the
OHC’s YouTube channel or listen on Soundcloud.