Professor Kelly O'Keefe: Celebrating the arts and humanities
Today’s political tensions tend to emphasize our differences over our commonalities. They threaten to fracture our unity and have launched us into what I sometimes refer to as an “uncivil war.”
But contrary to what many news outlets would have us believe, we aren’t a nation of just two flavors of people. We are endlessly nuanced and wonderfully diverse. It’s only through learning each other’s stories that we come to appreciate that. I believe the arts and humanities can play an important role in times like these. They can be the peacemakers in this uncivil war.
As a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and as head of the creative brand management track there, I teach brilliant, driven students who come from all over the world. When I think of different groups of people who seem to have nothing in common, coming to learn they have a great deal in common, I think of an experience I had with my students many years ago at Montpelier’s Gospel Chicken House (closed in 2011).Read more