Humanities Center

Humanities Center

Events for 2023-2024

Next Event:

Works-In-Progress:  Asa Mittman, “ From Local to Global: Maps and Mapmaking during the Middle Ages.”

Friday, March 1st

12:00 PM, Humanities Center, PAC 113

Middle Ages wall painting with king holding gold sphere 

Asa Simon Mittman (Professor of Art & Art History), is author of Maps and Monsters in Medieval England (2006), co-author of Inconceivable Beasts: The Wonders of the East in the Beowulf Manuscript (2013), and author and co-author of dozens of articles on monstrosity and marginality in the Middle Ages, including pieces on race and anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages. His book manuscript, Cartographies of Exclusion: Anti-Semitic Mapping in Medieval England is in press with Penn State University Press, forthcoming later this year, and his collaborative From Local to Global: Maps and Mapmaking during the Middle Ages is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Bonnie Tsui: “ Why We Swim: A Conversation with Award-Winning Author Bonnie Tsui”

Thursday, March 7th

5:30 PM on Zoom

Click here to register for Zoom webinar

This event is co-sponsored by The Writer's Voice

Film, 5 Broken Cameras

Please join us for an extended conversation between award-winning author Bonnie Tsui and Rob Davidson, Humanities Center board member and English professor. In keeping with this year’s theme, Water, Professor Davidson will focus his questions on Tsui’s  Why We Swim, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and  San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and  Sarah and the Big Wave, a children’s book about Sarah Gerhardt, the first woman to surf California’s big waves. Davidson and Tsui will explore why we are so drawn to the water, and the event will include opportunities for the audience to join with their own questions.
Bonnie Tsui is a longtime contributor to  The New York Times and the author of  American Chinatown, winner of the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Her book  Why We Swim was a  New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a  Time magazine and NPR Best Book of the Year; it is currently being translated into ten languages. Her first children’s book,  Sarah and the Big Wave, about the first woman to surf Northern California’s Mavericks, was published in 2021. Bonnie's work has been recognized and supported by Harvard University, the National Press Foundation, and the Mesa Refuge. Her new book about muscle will be published in spring 2025.

Funding provided by the Chico State Women's Philanthropy Council.

The Last Wave

Tuesday, April 9th

6 PM, Ayres 106

The Last Wave

(Australia, 1977) 106 minutes. Directed by Peter Weir.   

Introduced by Dr. Nathaniel Heggins Bryant (English).

A landmark film in the Australian New Wave film movement,  The Last Wave is a supernatural thriller and follow-up to famed director Peter Weir’s 1975  Picnic at Hanging Rock.  The Last Wave follows the increasingly disturbing encounters and apocalyptic visions of a white lawyer tasked with representing four Australian Aboriginal men accused of murder. Featuring famous Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil (of the Mandjalpingu clan), the film delves deeply into the tensions between white settler society and Aboriginal beliefs in 1970s Australia.

Watch the The Last Wave trailer(opens in new window)

2023-2024 Theme: Water

Water is at once both simple and complex.  A vital life element, essential to any species’ survival, water is threatened by human activity. Water is at the heart of politics and culture, news and information, science, and technology. We seek it; we fight over it; we yearn for it. It is an eternal inspiration for writers and artists. Whether it is drought or receding glaciers, atmospheric rivers or massive flooding, water is everywhere.

The Humanities Center is the interdisciplinary heart of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Our purpose is to create and nurture a culture of ideas at Chico State and to engage our diverse intellectual community through public events.  During the 2023-24 year, the Humanities Center will host a series of lectures and films exploring our human relationships with water. 

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