Elm in Rome
What are the humanities and why should we care about them?
In the summer of 2017 a group of students from universities across the United States participated in a program to address this question as the result of a collaboration between Elm and the Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study. The program began with a week at Yale University during which the students participated in the Elm Institute's seminar on "The Ethics of Work and Leisure," after which they spent 6 weeks as interns with the Paideia Institute in Rome, working on projects including filmmaking, digital media production, and textbook and app development, all with the goal of expanding the accessibility of the humanities outside of academia. While in Rome, they also toured the city and engaged in structured discussions on the status of the Classics as a cornerstone of humanistic values. They then returned to the United States for a concluding seminar, “What are the Humanities For?” held at Harvard University and taught by Danilo Petranovich and Peter Wicks. The seminar explored a range of views about the contemporary relevance of humanistic learning and provided the perfect opportunity for the students to reflect on what they learned from this unique and rewarding experience.