HOW WE KNOW/WHAT WE KNOW: Humanities Common Knowledge

A series of programming that will explore humanities knowledge formation in research and teaching.


Keyword Crossings
Tuesday, October 10th at 5:00pm
Wake Downtown
Faculty from across the Humanities and STEM dare to discuss a keyword common among their disciplines. Each faculty will have five minutes to explain how that keyword circulates in their particular discipline, including current controversies and innovations. The dare: speakers have to be correct within their discipline, but still intelligible to the rest of the group. This month’s keyword is UNCERTAINTY.

Knowledge and Uncertainty Across the Humanities: A Humanities Disciplines Symposium
Monday, October 16th at 4:00pm
DeTamble Auditorium, Tribble Hall
What constitutes knowledge across humanities disciplines? How is knowledge made or un-made, and what is its status in our work? Faculty from across the humanities will present five-minute position papers, in response to the questions, “what constitutes knowledge in your discipline?” and “does your discipline matter?” As the questions indicate, we’ll find much in common and much to debate, and we’ll discuss the plurality of our epistemic frames and resources in anticipation of future collaborations. Elsewhere and in other times, we’ve discussed the “crisis in the humanities,” but on this occasion we’ll take stock of the vitality of the humanities for understanding and navigating epistemic uncertainty. All faculty are invited to attend, and there will be ample opportunity for the audience to engage in spirited conversation with the roundtable panelists. The event is sponsored by the Humanities Institute, and the Provost’s Re-Thinking Community initiative has sponsored the reception following the symposium.

Journalism Under Attack: Is Democracy Really at State? A Symposium
Wednesday, November 1 at 4:00pm
Z. Smith Reynolds Auditorium, Room 404

“Community in the Age of Riots”
a Talk by Joshua Clover
Thursday, October 19th at 5:00pm
DeTamble Auditorium, Tribble Hall
More information

“Cultivating Virtue in the University: Teaching Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at Wake Forest”
a Talk by Jessica Richard
Friday, October 27th at 1:00pm
Pugh Auditorium, Benson University Center
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The Future is History: A Talk by Special Guest, Masha Gessen
Tuesday, November 7th at 6:00pm
Porter Byrum Welcome Center
More information and Registration

Reading Groups on Masha Gessen’s Words Will Break Cement
Wednesday, October 18th and Thursday, October 26th
9:00am, 12:30pm, 5:00pm, 8:00pm
Locations: Reynolda Hall, Tribble Hall, and Bensin TBA
More information and Registration

This fall, the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute presents HOW WE KNOW/WHAT WE KNOW: Humanities Common Knowledge, a series of programming which will explore humanities knowledge formation in research and teaching.

The goals of the programming include:

1. Exploring the diversity of methods and of objects of knowledge across the humanities
2. Understanding how the depth and breadth of humanities engagement with information—including texts, contexts, databases, archives—yields a more complex and meaningful (because meaning-making) account of fact and truth
3. Emphasizing how interpretation, story-telling, and even bias are part and parcel of making meaning and forming knowledge
4. Prioritizing the humanities as the proper home and resource for the ethical and political business of being human in the world, especially as we engage our students in a liberal arts academic context