The Civic Humanist Program kicked off its 2016 Cultural Heritage fall initiative, which proved to be an exciting semester of learning and insights for everyone involved. Fellow Mark DeYoung, a PhD student in the Department of Religion, teamed up with local Houston artist Robert Hodge to give a series of five events for Houston high school student groups, including: three dynamic field trips at Rice University campus and two lectures at Yates High School and the High School for Performing & Visual Arts (PVA) respectively.
Together, DeYoung and Hodge explored the role of art in culture and society, giving nuanced attention to issues of race, culture and the humanities as portrayed through art and media. DeYoung delivered informative lectures for each field trip, introducing students to core concepts of critical theory and relating these to current events and questions of identity and social justice. DeYoung also analyzed pieces of film and media involving themes of zombies and exposing dynamics of racism in these materials that continue to impact our lives. Hodge presented in the second part of each lecture, sharing his own personal journey of becoming an artist, and then guiding students through a virtual tour of his professional artwork. Hodge explored with students how art can be a constructive medium to foster positive civic engagement and career development.
*Chaperone and HSPVA teacher Isela Aguirre pictured here with her students - absorbed in the talk by Mark DeYoung and Rober Hodge.
After offering a diverse and stimulating lecture, DeYoung and Hodge took students on a mini-tour of Rice’s campus, showing them relevant sites and public art, including Jaume Plensa’s ‘Mirror’ sculpture and also spending time inside the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany skyspace. Click here to view information about the skyspace.
*Rice undergraduate Yves Ye, who assisted with the Cultural Heritage Program, pictured here with high school students visiting Jonathan Schipper's Cubicle installation.
The following high schools brought groups to Rice for the fall 2016 Cultural Heritage event series: the High School for Performing & Visual Arts experienced a double-header with the Civic Humanist program, bringing a morning group to Rice for the field trip, while DeYoung and Hodge lectured at PVA in the afternoon - all taking place on October 28th; Davis Northside High School visited Rice on October 31; Reagan High School came to campus on November 18th. Additionally, DeYoung gave a lecture at Yates High School on October 18th.
More field trips and lectures will occur this upcoming spring semester in 2017. Stay tuned for more news and updates on Cultural Heritage with the HRC's Civic Humanist Program!