Double Down - A Blog

Mar 29, 2018 | Posted by By Christianna Shortridge

Why should the federal government fund the humanities? This is a question I’ve been hearing for the past 25 years through my work in and around Congress. As administrations and Congresses come and go, the humanities remain. The humanities have been around much longer than our federal government; they are what holds us together as a civil society, they connect us, and they will never disappear.

Mar 22, 2018 | Posted by By. Todd Felts, Ed.D.

As a professor who teaches strategic communications, I was recently asked to moderate a discussion on pain and healing. I wasn’t sure what contribution I might make to the dialogue. At the Reynolds School, I teach students to identify audiences, develop a hook for a story, and share messages to resonate across communities and on social media during times of crisis. What could I offer to a discussion about current practices and pitfalls in treating pain or exploring non-traditional routes to pain management?  


I decided I would learn from the three panelists. I knew they would bring a wide-...

Mar 15, 2018 | Posted by By Nevada Humanities staff

Want to be part of something really big?


Nevada’s Big Give is coming on March 22, and Nevada Humanities invites you to participate and help us meet our goal of $5,000. You will have the chance to unite our community around causes you believe in and to help a nonprofit organization, like Nevada Humanities, connect with the greater good that comes out of Nevada. Join other Nevadans in 24-hours of giving as part of Nevada’s Big Give and support the work of Nevada Humanities. 


Did you know...

Mar 8, 2018 | Posted by By: Barbara Kohlenberg, Ph.D.

We live in a world full of pain. It is estimated that 50% of the U.S. population has been exposed to trauma, and yet only 5% of men and about 10% of women go on to be impaired by that trauma, or to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  How can we understand this? We have rampant human suffering, where people are subject to the unbearable (loss, physical assault, violent deaths, illness, divorce, natural disasters, war, exploitation, betrayal…). And yet most people who have experienced trauma come through it and months or years later, are seemingly back to feeling themselves. And sometimes, traumatized people even emerge from their trauma with increased awareness of the fragility of life and thus stand...

Mar 1, 2018 | Posted by By George Perreault

For Joe Crowley


sun skin wind same as walked

Uncle Joe’s service, the world

still dressed gray and brown


but almost as if soft rain

had tumbled down the night,

a gate swings open and you


among the throng tasting

not yet a bud or...

Feb 22, 2018 | Posted by By Carolyn Dufurrena

I spent a week recently in Elko, listening to the rhythms and difficult syllables of Euskera, the language of the Basque people, as part of the celebration of “Basques and Buckaroos” at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (the Gathering). Three young women, champion bertsolaris, or improvisational singers, came to share this cultural tradition with their Nevada cousins. They compete for national recognition in this difficult medium, and one of their members Maialen Lujanbo, is the first woman to have been crowned the national champion. They sang back and forth, at the drop of a hat, pairing improvisational rhymes with traditional melodies, a translator attempting to keep up with “at least the idea” of the impromptu sung conversation....

Feb 15, 2018 | Posted by By Susanne Forestieri

I have cancer. It’s a terrible way to learn how much you are loved. My family and friends rallied around me, and I found I was never alone. Flowers keep arriving at my door by messenger, and friends bring flowers from their gardens. One friend went beyond my expectations, bringing me healthy juices, flowers, and treats I probably shouldn’t be eating.  


I only met Yasmina Chavez two years ago when a mutual friend suggested we collaborate. A recent graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas art department, her work is conceptual, which means starting with an idea; I’m traditional, usually working from live models or photographs. I couldn’t see how we...

Feb 8, 2018 | Posted by By Autumn Harry

Indigenous Peoples are deeply connected to land, spiritually and inherently. Long before settlers arrived in the Americas, Indigenous Peoples lived freely throughout the land with uncontaminated waters, abundant wildlife, and plentiful resources, maintaining an optimal quality of life. Throughout the Great Basin, Indigenous Peoples continue as caretakers of the land while embracing traditional ways of living. 


For two Western Shoshone grandmothers, Mary and Carrie Dann, defending sacred lands and territories became a lifelong struggle. The Dann sisters fought many legal battles to reclaim their ancestral lands and rights guaranteed under the 1863 Treaty...

Jan 31, 2018 | Posted by By Aria Overli

As a cultural anthropologist, the role of ritual (repeated actions imbued with cultural meaning) regarding protest fascinates me. Evidence shows that rituals become more defined and more frequent when a group of people feel particularly without control. In the age of President Trump, we often see this lack of control coupled with anger resulting in protest as ritual. This is not a moral judgment, as ritual plays essential roles, such as strengthening community bonds and providing a sense of control and direction. Nonetheless, it should be taken into a critique of what we should be doing to strengthen our protests to ensure their roles in creating concrete action and change. 

Jan 25, 2018 | Posted by By Emily K. Hobson

“All politics are local.” As the adage tells us, people become politically involved when issues are close to home. Few people are motivated to take action for abstract principles, but large numbers rally, march, and build organizations when they feel directly affected, and when solutions seem close at hand. Social movements begin by speaking to people’s immediate circumstances – whether those of their natural environments, neighborhoods, or families. 


No wonder that the recent Salon offered by Nevada Humanities, The Politics of Protest in Nevada, won a packed house. The panel addressed struggles over land, broadly defined: from Western...