Humanities, Plain & Simple

Directed by Christine Henseler, Humanities, Plain & Simple is a special 4Humanities project. It is a comprehensive and targeted campaign that calls out to individuals and groups inside and outside of academia to write statements in “plain language” as to why the humanities matter. How has humanities-based thinking directly or indirectly altered or innovated strategies, ideas, research, leadership, learning? The statements will be published on the 4Humanities site and/or in mainstream print publications or digital media sites. The pieces may be of a serious or sarcastic nature; they may be of a few short paragraphs or of several pages; they may address the effects of a particular experience or talk about the Humanities as a whole. The only request is for writers to communicate in the language of everyday life, to address a general audience, and to refer to real-world situations.

We highly welcome the work of individuals from inside and outside of academia, and from inside and outside of the humanities. We are also interested in putting together teams from a variety of backgrounds to write and edit longer essays targeted to specific audiences. If you are interested in this initiative, or would like to submit advocacy statements, please send them to Christine Henseler ( The material will be evaluated by 4Humanities for possible publication and dissemination. All accepted pieces will be posted on the 4Humanities website.

Christopher Watts, What does it mean to be alive in the digital age?: “The Zombies Are Already Among Us”

Christopher Watts, from St. Lawrence University, created the following video for a New York Six event. The premise of the talk creatively explores how the obsession with quantifying information without qualitative considerations can lower the bar for what it means to be alive.

Scott Newstok, “The Crafts of Freedom”

« A Humanities, Plain & Simple Post » by Scott Newstok and

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Mountaintop speech was more than brilliant rhetorical art; it was also the culmination of a lifetime spent in intense and extensive reading.

On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was summoned to the Bishop Mason Temple in Memphis to address the striking sanitation workers and their supporters. King wasn’t scheduled to speak at the rally, but Reverend Ralph Abernathy, sensing the crowd’s disappointment, had persuaded King to come from the Lorraine Hotel to make a few remarks […]

Hidden in Plain Sight: Struck by the Street Art of Stickers. From the Streets to the Classroom

You might not have observed what is called “street art stickers” before, but once you do, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. Measuring around 2×2 to 3×5 inches, and drawn or printed on paper or vinyl, stickers are usually made individually by hand or in small batches through cheap online printing services.

On the Edge of Unemployment and the (Liberal) Arts: The Arts Edge Program at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia

Despite being one of the centers of Australian tourism, with its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest area, the vicinity around the Cairns campus at James Cook University, in Queensland, Australia, has one of the highest unemployment percentages in the country for young people seeking permanent work.