Georgetown Humanities Initiative

Humanities and Cura Personalis

In Times of Crisis

The global pandemic and recent episodes of racial violence have left deep scars on our society. Physical distancing protocols and social disparities have led to a profound sense of separation between individuals.

Yet in this unprecedented crisis, we have also witnessed acts of compassion and solidarity that have brought people together across every divide. The realization of our vulnerability has foregrounded the need for emotional connections and mutual cooperation to reaffirm our common humanity.

The humanities play a crucial role in this search for a renewed sense of collective purpose, embodying the Georgetown mission of cura personalis as attention to the needs of each individual as a whole person. The timeless questions that the humanities ask about the complexity of the human experience inform our own stories and help us cope with uncertainty, loss, and grief by showing us that we are part of universal patterns. By nourishing imagination, the humanities foster social awareness, dialogue, and empathy, as they allow us to see things from other people’s perspectives.

On this page, members of the Georgetown community engage with the current crisis as educators, students, and citizens. Their personal narratives, scholarly writings, public-facing and creative works offer insights into what we share as a collectivity in this unprecedented conjuncture. They confront us with the challenges and responsibilities of being human and highlight ways in which the humanities can bring comfort and hope to our lives.

Contributors (in alphabetical order)