LAWRENCE — Humanities Kansas recently awarded $9,796 to the Hall Center for the Humanities in support of a new event, “Haunting Humanities: Disciplines in the Dark.” Planned for 6-9 p.m. Oct. 24 at Abe & Jake’s Landing, this event is designed to explore haunting stories and concepts that are the results of new humanities research — just in time for Halloween.
“Haunting Humanities” is the brainchild of the Public Humanities Roundtable, a group of KU humanities faculty and staff interested in engaging the public with cutting-edge humanities research. Doing away with the traditional lecture format for humanities scholarship, “Haunting Humanities” creates a new kind of humanities experience designed to appeal to a wide array of audiences, from young adults to senior citizens, from those with extensive humanities education and experience to those who may not fully understand what the term “humanities” means. Sarah Bishop, the Hall Center’s interim associate director, serves as project director.
Visitors to “Haunting Humanities” will be given a map of the space and invited to guide themselves through a series of innovative presentations, activities, games and performances at their own pace.
“We’ve got scholars engaging audiences in all kinds of exciting ways — from an escape room puzzle based on the 1895 real-life murder of Kansan Tom Patton to the opportunity to get made-up to look like a witch while learning about the history and symbolism of witches in western literature,” Bishop said.
The evening will culminate with a 12-minute dance performance inspired by ghostly tales from Lawrence’s past, choreographed by KU Dance Lecturer Maya Tillman-Rayton, and the chance for audience members to chat one-on-one with participating scholars about their research.
“Humanities Kansas supports projects that engage the public,” said Julie Mulvihill, Humanities Kansas executive director. “’Haunting Humanities’ provides multiple points of view for the public to engage with and consider.”
“'Haunting Humanities’ showcases the richness of humanities research that is happening at KU in a way that is accessible and fun for everyone in our community,” said Marta Caminero-Santangelo, interim director of the Hall Center.
The event is free and open to the public with a cash bar and local food vendors.
Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, its pioneering programming, grants and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit humanitieskansas.org.