The Humanities Institute

Founded in 1986, the Humanities Institute presents a thematic program each semester pursuing a topic related to the humanities. As part of Scripps’ tradition of interdisciplinary education, these programs include conferences, lectures, exhibitions, and film series that bring together prominent and younger cutting-edge scholars.

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Latest Program: Silence

Is silence the absence of sound? Is it the space between words, a pause between heart­beats? Is silence a refusal to speak — or to respond? Is silence collaborative, complicit? Is it pleasant, peaceful? Contemplative? Is meditation a form of silence? Does silence signify absence? Does it entail presence? Does silence make you nervous? Is silence menacing? In fall 2014, the Humanities Institute explores the theory and practice of silence: voluntary and coerced, solitary and communal, literal and metaphoric. What are the politics of silence? How has silence been mandated and inflicted across historical periods and in a range of cultures and geographic locations? How are silence and gender related? Can silence be palpable, visual, deafening, architectural, dynamic? Hush. Let’s think about it.


Coming Soon: "Prison Obscura" exhibition Sept. 2 through Oct. 17

September 2, 2014
Clark Humanities Museum, Scripps College
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Prison Obscura presents rarely seen vernacular, surveillance, evidentiary, and prisoner-made photographs, shedding light on the prison industrial complex. Why do tax-paying, prison-funding citizens rarely get the chance to see such images? And what roles do these pictures play for those within the system? With stark aesthetic detail and meticulous documentation, Prison Obscura builds the case that Americans must come face to face with these images and imaging technologies both to grasp the cancerous proliferation of the U.S. prison system and to connect with those it confines.

The exhibition will be open from September 2 through October 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College.

For more information on the exhibit, visit exhibits.haverford.edu/prisonobscura and an article in the New York Times, the L.A. Times , and a YouTube video featuring the curator, Pete Brook.

Prison Obscura is a traveling exhibition curated by Pete Brook and made possible with the support of the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Haverford, PA. Support for this presentation has been provided by the Scripps College Humanities Institute and by the Core Curriculum in Interdisciplinary Humanities at Scripps College.