YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsHumanities


June 23, 2013
Re "Why arts and humanities matter," Opinion, June 20 James Cuno laments the decline in emphasis on arts and humanities as more students are attracted to hard science and engineering because of a job market that "disproportionately" rewards these fields. I agree that the humanities enrich the human experience and that it is appropriate that an exposure to them is required for all graduates. But Cuno goes far beyond this, asserting that intelligence, passion, imagination and "the ability to connect with others" are all developed specifically by studying the humanities, without which future leaders will be unable to understand "what it is to be human.
April 25, 2014 | By Sandy Banks
My column Tuesday on the courtroom tears of a gang member sentenced to 40 years in prison for a campus shooting resonated with readers - but not in the way I imagined it would. I considered the courtroom scene a cautionary message to other young men who glorify gangs and are enamored of guns: You could spend the rest of your life in prison over a stupid vendetta and a single violent act. But readers focused not just on the threat posed by hotheads with guns, but on the perceived injustice of such a long sentence for a young man who didn't kill anyone.
April 19, 2013 | By David Kipen
If any line item in the state or federal budgets cries out for more resources, or even just a little more respect, it's the arts and humanities. Never mind that many writers, artists and scholars have the fresh ideas that our times so desperately need. When politicians and columnists call for increased spending on STEM projects - that's science, technology, engineering and mathematics - don't they know they're alienating at least half the country? Let's reckon with the extent of the neglect.
April 24, 2014
Re "Are we losing the tech race?," Opinion, April 20 Michael Teitelbaum presents common-sense advice about majoring in science. He echoes what proponents of the liberal arts have been saying for years: that it is not enough to specialize in one area of expertise, and that science students must gain broad intellectual skills developed through the humanities, arts and social sciences. However, I disagree with Teitelbaum's assessment that science education for non-science majors should be limited to K-12.
February 19, 2013 | By Susan King
Martin Scorsese is an Oscar-winning director, actor, producer, film historian and film preservationist. And now he can add lecturer to his resume. The director of such classics as "The Departed," 'Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "GoodFellas" has been named the 42nd Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. The annual lecture, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, is considered the most prestigious honor the federal government can bestow for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.
September 14, 2013 | Times wire services
Sheldon Hackney, an educator and historian who served as president of Tulane University and the University of Pennsylvania before becoming chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has died. He was 79. Hackney died Thursday at his home on Martha's Vineyard of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, officials from Penn and Tulane confirmed. He was president of Tulane from 1975 to 1980 and president of Penn from 1981 to 1993, when he was nominated by President Clinton to serve as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
August 17, 1992
"They have contributed to our nation's intellectual vitality," Lynne V. Cheney, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, said in announcing the 1992 winners of the Charles Frankel Prize. The prestigious award, which includes $5,000 for each recipient, honors Americans who have helped expand the public's understanding of history, literature, philosophy or other subjects in the humanities.
September 27, 1988 | CHARLES CHAMPLIN, Times Arts Editor
A few months ago the Louis Harris polling organization reported that Americans were working more and being leisurely less. The 1,500 adults surveyed said they were taking in fewer cultural events because they had less time and, to some extent, less loose change. But in mid-September Lynne V. Cheney, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, released a report saying in part that in 1986 Americans spent more to attend cultural events ($3.4 billion) than to attend sports events ($3.
May 2, 2011 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced $2 million in grants to Southern California arts and cultural institutions. Among other things, the money will enable USC librarians to bring 34,000 historic photos of 1920s and '30s Los Angeles into public view via the Internet and help the Pacific Symphony press forward with its "Music Unwound" series, a bid to enhance the concertgoing experience by adding visual projections and slices of...
March 30, 1990
Lynne V. Cheney, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will address the nearly 7,000 graduates at San Diego State University in May. SDSU President Thomas B. Day said Cheney was invited to speak to the 91st graduating class because of her "contributions to journalism, literature and the humanities." Under Cheney's leadership the NEH/Reader's Digest Teacher-Scholar program was established in 1989.
April 23, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan
When a small Indian film stays in Los Angeles theaters for two months and shows no sign of leaving, it's not because critics love it (though they do), but because audiences are enthralled. "The Lunchbox" is that film, a warm and affectionate human comedy that is charming in a delicate and unforced way. Mixing a love of food with potent emotions - think "Babette's Feast," "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "Big Night" - "The Lunchbox" succeeds by leavening its simple story of mistaken identity with wonderful neo-realistic observations of ordinary middle class life in Mumbai and environs.
April 20, 2014 | By David Colker
Robert Olsen, a critically acclaimed artist known for his luminescent paintings of outdoor urban objects such as gas pumps and ATMs, would drive around Los Angeles all night looking for interesting items to photograph and then later paint. "I try to isolate the ubiquitous," Olsen said to a reporter who accompanied him on a drive for a 2002 Los Angeles Times article . "I like to look at these things as mathematical models. " Times art critic Christopher Knight chose Olsen, whose works almost never portrayed humans, as one of L.A.'s top painters under 45 . "The pictures have the specificity and presence of portraiture," Knight wrote in 2007, "resonating with the bleak beauty of American life today.
April 17, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Scientists have replicated one of the most significant accomplishments in stem cell research by creating human embryos that were clones of two men. The lab-engineered embryos were harvested within days and used to create lines of infinitely reproducing embryonic stem cells, which are capable of growing into any type of human tissue. The work, reported Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, comes 11 months after researchers in Oregon said they had produced the world's first human embryo clones and used them to make stem cells.
April 12, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Actress Scarlett Johansson topped the box office charts last weekend playing the character of Black Widow in the Marvel superhero flick "Captain America: The Winter Soldier. " That same weekend she was on screen as a man-eater of a different type in the cryptic indie sci-fi film "Under the Skin. " As a space alien in human form who lures male victims into a mysterious black void, Johansson gives a performance at once sinister, sultry and unexpectedly sympathetic. If "Captain America" was the latest product of a studio franchise machine, "Under the Skin" was the handcrafted result of writer-director Jonathan Glazer's 10-year quest to bring a singular experience to the screen.
April 10, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Kathleen Sebelius, who helped guide the rocky and controversial rollout of President Obama's landmark health law, has resigned as Health and Human Services secretary after more than five years. In her place, the president plans as soon as Friday to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to a senior administration official. Sebelius was not pressured to resign, the official said. But she leaves after presiding over the disastrous launch of the health law's online insurance marketplaces last fall.
April 9, 2014 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Ever since Charles Darwin made his way to the Galapagos, we've heard a lot about that fateful moment when some previously water-bound creature pulled itself up from the slowly receding seas, took a breath and began the eons-long march to humanity. What we didn't know was what that creature looked like and how, specifically, it relates to us. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, "Your Inner Fish" is a six-hour, three-part documentary determined to do just that. Paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin, who wrote the book and hosts the series, is infectiously enthusiastic as he takes viewers on a tour of the human anatomy, its unexpected roots (subsequent episodes cover our inner reptile and our inner monkey)
August 1, 2010 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Special to The Los Angeles Times
Not for Profit Why Democracy Needs the Humanities Martha C. Nussbaum Princeton University Press: 158 pp., $22.95 Martha C. Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, is one of the fiercest mythbusters in American academia. When Nussbaum trains her eye on a truism, a falsehood, it melts. In "Not for Profit," Nussbaum insists that the goal of a liberal arts education is not to make money. Education is not a "tool of the gross national product."
February 20, 2003
I read "It's Not Rocket Science" (Feb. 13) with great interest. I've been a project manager in industry for many years, and I've been absolutely astounded at the complete lack of writing skills shown by many of the engineers and technicians whose memos and e-mails have crossed my desk. One of my first work assignments out of engineering school was to take the incomprehensible, fractured-syntax, jargon-filled memos and reports that my colleagues were producing and turn them into something a normal person could understand.
April 6, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Peter Matthiessen, who died Saturday at age 86 of complications from leukemia, was complex, even contradictory, in the most compelling sense. Born into privilege, he attended Hotchkiss boarding school and Yale and founded the Paris Review in 1953 with George Plimpton and Harold L. Humes. Yet he later became a Zen monk, and in his own fashion was something of an ascetic. He was perhaps best known as a writer of nonfiction, particularly “The Snow Leopard,” the 1978 account of his trip to the Himalayas with naturalist George Schaller that won not one but two National Book Awards.
March 30, 2014 | By Robert M. Sapolsky
The defining feature of human brains is the size and complexity of the cortex, which provides the underpinnings of rationality for our actions. But just because we have more developed cortexes doesn't mean we are always rational decision-makers. We humans constantly find ourselves loving the wrong person, buying things we don't have the money for and believing that fad diets consisting of nothing but sundaes will work. To be human is to hope against hope. When it comes to decision-making and risk assessment, we tend to think in an asymmetrical manner that feeds an optimistic outlook and denies discouragement.
Los Angeles Times Articles