Letter from the Director
Author and psychologist Dr. Adam Grant recently wrote about the experience of “languishing” during the pandemic, what he describes as the “void between depression and flourishing—the absence of wellbeing.” Like other stories about the “fear of returning to normal” or disenfranchised grief, his article identifies yet another culturally resonant phenomenon of the past year. But Dr. Grant also offers hope: “By acknowledging that so many of us are languishing, we can start giving voice to quiet despair and lighting a path out of the void.” To be sure, the literature, history, and ideas of the humanities help give voice to our languishing. But the humanities also help us flourish, imagine, and create—to make meaning from our experiences during the pandemic.
As we begin to envision a world where we can again travel, gather in person, and shake hands, Humanities Montana continues to bring the flourishing potential of the humanities to you and your communities. This month we invite you to order a free DIY Humanities Journal, host a Big Sky Reads public book club, or view one of our virtual programs on the humanities and civic engagement. In the coming months, watch for Humanities Montana speakers who may be in a library, museum, or park near you. These opportunities to reflect and connect remind us that the humanities bring flourishing to our lives and our communities.
Randi Lynn Tanglen, Ph.D.