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The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute is a focal point for the 10 world-renowned humanities departments at Johns Hopkins, other dynamic departments in the humanistic social sciences, and related centers and programs. The institute sponsors scholarly meetings, public events, visiting scholars, and student fellowships and research projects.

Upcoming AGHI-sponsored Events

A complete calendar of all humanities-related events, including all AGHI-sponsored events, happening at Johns Hopkins is available on our events page.

The Alexander Grass Humanities Institute Welcomes PBS The Open Mind Host, Alexander Heffner
Sep 27 @ 7:00 pm Bird in Hand

Divisiveness today is a pervasive plague on discourse and governance. Social media proliferate clickbait, fake news, and filter bubbles. Algorithms polarize information intake. So what are possible prescriptions to correct this vicious cycle? How can our increasingly digital footprint translate into prosocial instead of antisocial behavior? How can the press restore faith in our civic life, democracy and humanity?

PBS The Open Mind host, Alexander Heffner, will provide a lecture that will discuss the tenth anniversary edition of his and Richard D. Heffner’s A Documentary History of the United States. The new chapter “Populists Revolt…Democracy Under Duress” explores the presidency of Donald Trump and the digital age through critical documents shaping contemporary America…Presidential tweets, Congressional testimony on cyberwar, speeches by Bernie Sanders and Jeff Flake, and Facebook posts by Mark Zuckerberg. He will consider how the current media and political climate are impacting the first draft of history, including the threat of clickbait, fake news, bots, trolls and filter bubbles.

Alexander Heffner (@HeffnerA) is the host of The Open Mind (@OpenMindTV) on PBS and coauthor of A Documentary History of the United States (Penguin, 2018). He has covered American politics, civic life and Millennials for leading newspapers and magazines. He founded and edited the first-ever online national student newspapers covering the 2008 presidential campaign and the Obama presidency. His work has been profiled in The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, and he has lectured at the Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri, the Post-Truth Initiative at the University of Sydney, and the Center for Information and Bubble Studies at the University of Copenhagen, among other institutions of learning. He directed a civic education initiative for which he taught in under-served classrooms and was the political director for WHRB 95.3 FM. A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and Harvard.

Humanities Highlights
Humanities Stories from Across Hopkins

Students from the Program for Museums and Society help plan a unique exhibition

From the Spring 2016 issue of Arts & Sciences Magazine:

Sometimes, as 11 undergraduates learned during the spring semester, the most interesting thing about a book is not the words it contains, but the actual book itself. When, exactly, is an object a book, and when is it not? How does the physical book relate to its content? How does the way we use a book change our experience of it?

Those undergrads—whose majors range from art history to archaeology to the sciences to international studies—took a deep look at such questions in a course offered by the Krieger School’s Program in Museums and Society and taught by Rena Hoisington, senior curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The collaborative course, called Paper Museums: Exhibiting Books at The Baltimore Museum of Art, was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

News & Events

TED Talks Daily: Why tech needs the humanities

If you want to build a team of innovative problem-solvers, you should value the humanities just as much as the sciences, says entrepreneur Eric Berridge. He shares why tech companies should look beyond STEM graduates for new hires — and how people with backgrounds in the arts and humanities can bring creativity and insight to […]