8
May

On the occasion of the 800th Anniversary of the Convent of Santa Cruz La Real (Segovia), IE University and IE Humanities Center will host the International Conference on the Birth of Universities in the Peripheries of Europe: “From the Scriptorium to the Library”  on June 10-12, 2019 at the Campus of Santa Cruz la Real (Segovia)

The model of the birth of universities in Europe has long been established taken as a model the developments that occurred in continental Western Europe particularly as a result of well-known processes: the Carolingian Renaissance, the vernacularisation of culture, the increasing relevance of cities, the empowerment of new social groups. Nevertheless, in large parts of what today is considered Europe, let alone Eurasia, the social and intellectual factors that defined this emergence of universities were often not present, or not all of them. In areas where the process of Christianization, and sometimes also literacy, had taken place later, or where the role of monasteries as the only centres of learning and literary activity lasted longer, or where a more or less permanent warfare existed, or where the adequate social environment had not yet been developed, the scriptoria and the libraries of monasteries and convents kept learning and cultural traditions for longer, often against all odds.

Registration is now open. If you wish to attend please click here

Conference Program Read more…

5
Apr

Are the Humanities History?

Written on April 5, 2019 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Arts & Cultures & Societies

Who is going to save the humanities?

On all fronts, fields like history and English, philosophy and classical studies, art history and comparative literature are under siege. In 2015, the share of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the humanities was down nearly 10 percent from just three years earlier. Almost all disciplines have been affected, but none more so than history. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of history majors nationwide fell from 34,642 in 2008 to 24,266 in 2017.

Last year, the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, facing declining enrollments, announced it was eliminating degrees in History, French, and German. The University of Southern Maine no longer offers degrees in either American and New England Studies or Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, while the University of Montana has discontinued majors and minors in its Global Humanities and Religions program. Between 2013 and 2016, US colleges cut 651 foreign-language programs.

The primary cause of these developments is the 2008 financial crash, which made students—especially the 70 percent of whom are saddled with debt—ever more preoccupied with their job prospects. With STEM jobs paying so well—the median annual earnings for engineering grads is $82,000, compared to $52,000 for humanities grads—enrollments in that area have soared. From 2013 to 2017, the number of undergraduates taking computer science courses nationwide more than doubled. A study of Harvard students from 2008 to 2016 found a dramatic shift from the humanities to STEM. The number majoring in history went from 231 to 136; in English, from 236 to 144; and in art history, from sixty-three to thirty-six, while those studying applied math went from 101 to 279; electrical engineering, from none to thirty-nine; and computer science, from eighty-six to 363.

University donors and public officials, hoping to duplicate the success of Stanford and Silicon Valley, are flooding STEM with money. In September 2017, Cornell University opened a $2 billion tech campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island on twelve acres of land donated by the city, which kicked in an additional $100 million for the project. Columbia, which in 2010 opened a fourteen-story science center on its Morningside Heights campus, has recently built another, even larger one (designed by Renzo Piano) on its new Manhattanville campus. The City University of New York in September 2014 opened a 206,000-square-foot Advanced Science Research Center dedicated to disciplines like nanoscience, photonics, and neuroscience, while NYU is working closely with the city to transform an abandoned building in downtown Brooklyn into an innovation hub for STEM.

Few comparable investments are occurring in the humanities. The contempt many officials feel for them was expressed most bluntly in 2011 by then-Florida governor (now senator) Rick Scott: “You know, we don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state… I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees,” so that “when they get out of school, they can get a job.” It’s not just Republicans who feel this way. In 2014, President Obama, speaking at a GE gas-engine plant in Wisconsin, extolled the virtues of learning a vocational skill: “I promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.”

Defenders of the humanities generally emphasize what the field can do for the individual: they promote self-discovery, breed good citizens, and teach critical thinking. In a 2017 essay in The Washington Post, “Why We Still Need to Study the Humanities in a STEM World,” Gerald Greenberg, the senior associate dean of academic affairs at Syracuse, maintained that by studying the humanities, “one has an opportunity to get to know oneself and others better.” Such study “opens one to the examination of the entirety of the human condition and encourages one to grapple with complex moral issues ever-present in life.” His argument was recently echoed by a writer for the Harvard Business Review: “A practical humanism, paradoxically, is of little use. When we turn to them for tips, but not for trouble, the value of the humanities is lost.”

No doubt the humanities do broaden the mind and deepen the soul. In one form or another, they have been at the heart of higher education since the founding of the university itself in the thirteenth century, and they remain a repository of a society’s cultural and creative values. But to dismiss their practical worth seems both short-sighted and self-defeating. Far from lacking material value, the humanities are economic dynamos. The arts and entertainment industry that plays such a central part in people’s lives today is largely the creation of people who have studied literature, history, philosophy, and languages.

Overall, arts and culture contribute more than $760 billion a year to the US economy—4.2 percent of GDP. Compared to the tech industry, that may seem modest—Apple’s revenue alone totaled $265 billion last year, and its market capitalization is about $900 billion—but arts and culture employ nearly 5 million people in communities across the country. Moreover, the value of the liberal arts to society extends far beyond the numbers. They incubate ideas, provide ethical standards, and raise questions about the status quo—functions that are becoming ever more important as the tech world, ridden by scandal and crisis, faces a moment of reckoning. Read more…

1
Apr

On March 22nd the IE Humanities Center hosted the 2019 Humanities Lecture. The invited speaker was Serhii Plokhii who gave a brilliant talk on “Atomic Energy and the Arrogance of Man: Revisiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster”. Professor Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University.

Author of an extensive bibliography, The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (2014), The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine (2015) and Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation(2017). His talk was based in his latest book Chernobyl: A History of Tragedy (2018) which covers from the origins of the nuclear industry in the Soviet Union to the present day.

He began his lecture by making a difference between atoms for war and atoms for peace. He gave emphasis on how, besides nuclear disasters all around the globe from Three Mile Island to the latest Fukushima. Many countries still rely on the source of energy. For instance, nuclear industry provides France with 70% of its electric power.

After introducing his talk, Professor Plokhii went on to take the audience to the 1980’s. He made an analogy of former USSR with present day Russia, an economy strongly dependent on oil prices. The fall of oil prices back in the early 1980s that led to the collapse of Soviet Union made Gorbachev try to develop a strong nuclear industry. The five-year plan for the second half of the 80’s intended to double the amount of nuclear plants in use.

The speaker identified the main problems of Chernobyl Catastrophe; first, the boom of nuclear energy in USSR meant that most of the people in charge did not have the appropriate experience, he gave the examples that both the head of Chernobyl and the Engineering Director came from the coal industry not having experience at nuclear plants. Second was the optimistic wave that impregnated the USSR when came to talk about the Nuclear Industry minimizing the risks. The lecturer said that this was because soviets had not seen the full destructive power   of nuclear plants, On the contrary to the US who had experienced the damage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The last minutes of the lecture were for the present day status of nuclear industry. After the boom of the 70’s and early 80’s the amount of nuclear plants stabilized after Chernobyl until 2011. After Fukushima the total number of plants have decreased. The speaker showed his relief that China, who after years planning to do a huge investment in nuclear plants seems to have abandon the idea. On the contrary, he showed some worries about the fact that some nations in the Middle East and Central Asia are putting much effort in becoming nuclear. Mostly for defensive reasons but with the official statement of being for peaceful purposes. Commonly a case for national pride, like in the late USSR, but again seems to minimizing the risks, especially for some like Iran that is in a seismic region.

After the Q&A round, in which students happily got engage, Humanities Director Susana Torres invited attendees for a coffee in which they could share their views with the speaker. The opportunity was seized by many who did not missed the chance to acquire some of the publications and get the author’s dedication.

29
Mar
IE values the Humanities as a key element in understanding the reality of the world we live in through a global vision and the application of critical thinking. According to many recent studies, studying the Humanities benefits society, individuals and employers. IE Humanities Week 2019 will explore why Humanities matter through a series of  workshops, speaker sessions, panels, debates, off-campus arts exhibitions, and more.
AGENDA

April 8

MADRID

Opening and Keynote: THE HUMANITIES MATTER!

4:30 PM – Opening Words. Diego Alcázar Benjumea, Executive Vice President, IE.

4:35 PM – Panel. The Challenge to Create: IE Foundation Prizes in the Humanities

Student winners of the IE Foundation Prizes in the Humanities and Susana Torres, Academic Director of Humanities at IE University.

5:15 PM – Keynote speech.
Mirenchu Villa Oliveros, Deputy General Manager at Mutua Madrileña | Board of Directors at SegurCaixa Adeslas | Vice President BCI Seguros.
Evelio Acevedo, Managing Director, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation


6:30 PM – Workshop. Stories with Impact: One Hour to Improve your Business Storytelling Skills Forever.

Andreas Loizou, Writer, Trainer, Founder of Margate Bookie Litfest.

SEGOVIA

6 PM. Send a Banana to the Moon!

Ludovic Assèmat, Head of Arts of Brithish Council
April 9

MADRID

4:00 PM – Workshop. The Power of the Narrative in Public Speaking

IE Public Speaking Club.


5:15 – Workshop. How to Leverage Your Interest in Humanities in Interviews?

IE Talent & Careers Department.
Lourdes Ruiz del Portal. HR, Leadership & Executive Development Consultant, Career Mentor, Coach and Associate Professor at IE.


6:30 PM. Workshop. Flash Fiction and Instant Poetry. 

Cary Barney. Writing, Dramatic Literature and Acting Professor at Saint Louis University, Madrid.

SEGOVIA

6:00 PM. Exquisite Corpse or Exquisite Cadaver.

Alberto Fernandez Hurtado. Artist.

6:15 PM. Workshop. Digital Storytelling: Crafting PPT Narratives

Michelle Allende. IMBA Candidate. Founder of Digital Marketing Agency, Former University Professor of Communication (Storytelling and Copywriting).

 

April 10

MADRID

4:00 PM – Workshop. Improv and Presentation: How Drama Can Help in Your Professional Life.

IE Drama Club.

5:15 PM – Debate. STEM & Humanities = a False Dichotomy?

Susana Torres, Associate Professor and Academic Director of Humanities at IE University.  
Sowmya Vavilala
, Coordinator of IE Public Speaking Club.
Fernando Mateo, Senior Director of Data Science and Technology, IE School of Human Sciences and Technology.
Federica Fornaciari, Director of Digital Strategy, HAVAS Media Group Spain.
Moderator: Rolf Strom-Olsen, Professor at IE Business School.

7:00 PM- Session. What Can Leaders of Today Learn from the Ancient History?

Javier Alonso,  Writer, Historian, Biblical Scholar, Translator, IE Business School and IE University Professor.

SEGOVIA

6:30 PM THE PAINTER: Musical production

April 11

MADRID

4:00 PM – Workshop. Digital Storytelling: Crafting PPT Narratives.

IE Written Expression Club.

Michelle Allende, IMBA Candidate. Founder of Digital Marketing Agency, Former University Professor of Communication (Storytelling and Copywriting).

5:15 PM – Leading for Creativity.

Sandra Comas. Leader in Global Education and Consultant / TEDx Speaker. Doctor in Philosophy, Yale University.

6:30 PM – Speaker Panel. Leveraging Humanities for Uniqueness.

Enrique Sacau, Group Head Financial Services at Equiniti.
Carolina Fàbregas Hernández, Global Head of Digital Marketing at Telefónica Corp.
Ryan Day, CEO Grupo Bang Bang, Professor of Early Modern Literature at Saint Louis University, Madrid.
Marc Smelik, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programmes, IE Business School.
Moderator: Erik Schlie, Vice President for Global Alumni and Talent & Careers, IE.

 

Off Campus during the week – Madrid:

Casting Workshop at Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

Private Visit to “Lost, Loose and Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris”, Reina Sofía Museum.

Guided Visit to “Breath”, Edmund de Waal. Ivorypress Gallery.

 

Off Campus during the week – Segovia:

Casa de la Moneda: an Introduction to the Building’s Historical Background.

Contemporary Art: Guerrero / Vicente. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente.

FRESKO: Design in Castilla y León, Center of Innovation and Development for Design and Culture of Segovia.

Cine Club Segovia Cult Cinema? The Impact of Digital Cinema.

Coffee & Poetry with a LOEWE Foundation Prize.
Ben Clarck. Winner of the 30th LOEWE Foundation International Poetry Prize.

 

Celebrating Humanities Throughout the Month

FALSTAFF, Discovering Opera, general rehearsal at Teatro Real, hosted by IE Foundation.

“TeamLab” Exhibition, Fundación Telefónica, hosted by IE Foundation.

Entrepreneurial Mindset Lessons – The Painter Version.

Coming soon…

Private visit to the Congress Art Collection, hosted by Vicente Moret.

Urban Safari, Madrid Street Art unveiled.

 

11
Feb

Atomic Energy and the Arrogance of Man: Revisiting the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
FRIDAY MARCH 22ND 2019, NEW TIME 9.30 to 11 am
ROOM F001 (MARIA DE MOLINA 2, MADRID)

On the morning of April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill. This lecture will draw on new sources to lay bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime’s control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else. Today, the risk of another Chernobyl, claims Plokhii, looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world.

Serhii Plokhii is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. Author of several well received books, including, The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union (2014), The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine (2015) and Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation (New York, 2017). His most recent book, Chernobyl: A History of Tragedy won the UK Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction in November 2018.

Coffee and refreshements will be served afterwards

If you would like to attend please register here

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