Humanistic Studies


Theresa-Xuan Bui, 2022 Ginsberg Prize for Poetry Winner

Judge Unique Robinson had this to say about Theresa-Xuan's work:

“How will I establish space for my loved ones, my sisters, the liminal, the radical,
exquisite, unseen, and all the more? To answer, I write.”

Theresa-Xuan’s work rings of a truth telling sensibility of the complications of ownership,
inclusion, and exclusion of the English language, and subsequently, the American
Dream itself - a dream which has been broadcasted worldwide, and yet, readily falls
short of its promise for many BIPOC families, native born and immigrant. Theresa-Xuan
interrogates the weight of this language on their generation, and past generations, who
bought into the “pearly promises of America”. In each poem, we are met with moments
where language is simultaneously utilized, yet cracked open.

In the first, we bear witness to complicated conversations across a dinner table, and the
underlying conflict of expectations of success, as the child of immigrant parents: “How:
silence is a table long / from breast to fork to / silver spoon fed b**** please / why don’t
you do something, someone, yourself / successful?”. The universality in this poem
speaks volumes to populations who wrestle with the precariousness of upward mobility.

In “Let’s play”, her desire for “deconstructing language to its most basic form” is
highlighted, twisting SURVIVAL into a “game” itself. The poet intentionally misspells the
“instructions” of the game, to engage the reader in the illusory aspects of navigating
one’s existence from beginning to end (“bgieiennng, mdilde / End”). It is an
unintentionally playful piece, asking the reader to solve a puzzle that is never fully
solved. It is innovative in its attempt to dismantle layers of systemic racism and classism,
and their effects on the everyday lives of people who moved to America, hoping to do
more than simply survive, with language often being a key barrier in advancement.
Theresa-Xuan hopes “to openly process and piece together a future we (past, present,
future) can be proud of”, and these poems certainly carry the legacy of the resilience of
their ancestral past, and the possibility of future, beyond the confines of today.

See more of Theresa-Xuan's work at and follow them on instagram at @theresa.xuan.bui

A special thank you to our judges this year: Unique Robinson and Moses Jeune '20, Ginsberg Prize winner 2020 


Ginsberg Prize for Poetry Annual Award 2022


To enter:

  1. Be a graduating undergraduate senior;
  2. Chose up to three poems to share;
  3. Complete Google form with submission by March 25th

The winning poem will be shared on our @micahumanists Twitter and IG. The winner notified by April 8th.

Apply here:

Welcome Zakia Alomari (she/her/hers) as Program Coordinator for the Liberal Arts Division!  Zakia brings with her experience in office administration, as well as leadership in collegiate student activities. She is looking forward to continuing this work in an art and design environment.

Zakia wrote this to share with all of you:

“Hi! I’m Zakia. Many call me Z. I’m a native of Richmond, VA, lived in Charlottesville for college and post grad, and am now happy to call Baltimore home. I’m interested in storytelling, community art, music production, horror, and talking about surveillance. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the experience of making independent film work with friends, and feel called to support  collaborative processes of creating art when I can. Creating with friends is a great reminder of the healing and connective power of art.”

Zakia is a 2018 graduate of the University of Virginia with a degree in Middle Eastern studies. Please join us in welcoming Zakia when you are on the 4th floor of Bunting.  Her office is Room 403 in the Bunting Center. 

Take The Idea of Beauty this Summer with Firmin DeBrabander.

Read Firmin's latest thought provoking piece in The Atlantic here: 

The Gun-Rights Movement Fed America’s Insurrectionist Fever Dreams

The NRA and its allies have argued for years that citizens need to arm themselves for a fight against tyranny.

MICA Students!

Are you looking for an IH-1 Class for the Spring? Enroll in World Systems Before 1492 CE - some seats still available!

IHST 212-IH1 .01

Fridays 9:00 am to 11:45 am

Instructor: Vadim Jigoulov, PhD (‘gee-goo-luv)

World Systems Before 1492 is an overview of world history from the birth of the first human civilizations to the end of the European Middle Ages.  Our main emphasis will be on major political, military, intellectual, and religious events, movements, and leaders that have shaped world history. 

Voices: Women in the Americas | Mondays at 1 pm | IH-2 or Elective | Register with Permission of Instructor

FYI Program MICA International Students: Explore our FYE Forum and Liberal Arts schedule for Spring 2021, designed around the time zones in the Pacific Rim.  Classes are taught by talented faculty with expertise in helping international students understand the US art school context and build intercultural skills. Schedule of Spring courses:

Photo from: https// 

Join FULL BLEED. Interested in Publishing? Graphic Design? Editorial Work? 3 studio credits or 3 Liberal Arts credits. See more info below.

Moses Jeune, MICA Class of 2020, winner of the Ginsberg Prize for Poetry for 2020

The Humanistic Studies Department is pleased to announce the winner of the Ginsberg Prize for Poetry for 2020, which w was judged this year by faculty member, Unique Robinson. About Moses's entry, Unique said this,

"Moses Jeune describes their poetry as "another extension of my imagery and emotional evocation". The collection is centered in their home state of Florida, a tale of their ever shifting, and often wrenching experiences in becoming. Their poem, "Brad's Honey", zooms the reader directly into a sea of sweat-sweltering anxieties of navigating social scenes, unspoken implicit policies, and eventual surrender to the all too familiar pain of dismissal, amidst a space of "belonging". Each stanza of the poem creates another layer to unpack, drawing up literary and literal contradictions of feeling alone while being fully surrounded, yet never fully seen. The last stanza, "Is it ever worth the one night of hoping for false affection / to step out to places / that'll always grin / when saying no?" hovered unanswered, displaying the vulnerability that we all attempt to stifle."

Thank you to all the applicants for your excellent entries and congratulations to Moses!


Study Freud with Firmin in the Summer

June 8, 2020 to July 3, 2020 | Monday, Wednesday, Friday | 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM | Firmin DeBrabander | Credits: 3.00 | Link to sign up here:

This course offers a chance for in-depth study of an influential 20th-century thinker. 

Readings from: The Interpretation of Dreams, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious Moses and Monotheism, Totem and Taboo, Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Ginsberg Prize for Poetry Call for Entries 2020

VIRTUAL 4U on the 4th

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Here is a video of the event. There's a slight glitch when the moderator's cat turned off the video, but other than that, it was great. 

MICA Pets with Sophie Wiggles and Louise Cracknell from Student Affairs

LRC Academic Coaches Rebekah and Thea shared about Adapting Studio Practice at Home

Keri Watley from Wellness shared EYE and BACK stretches for those of us staring at screens too much (guilty!)

HMST first semester Senior Saloni Shah shared her THESIS work

Nurse Cat from the Student Health Center shared tips about stopping the spread of COVID-19 

Soheila Ghaussy, HMST faculty,  read two original POEMS

Vicky Pass from Art History shared their online resources

Andrea Regenberg from Student Counseling shared a MEDITATION technique

View the Resources Tab to view 4U on the 4th documents and links and more items from the event!

Hi everyone. Follow us on IG and Twitter with our new thread #MICALibrariesAtHome 

Create your own entry and share your home library with us!

Eglute Trinkauskaite recently presented at the American Academy of Religion conference in San Diego, California.
1) Indigenous Religious Traditions
Theme:  Indigenous Muertos/Death Traditions of Mexico and Lithuania 

The dead are seen as important, active members in many indigenous communities; on some views, attending to relationships with dead relatives is a distinctive mark of indigenous religious practice. The papers in this panel considered both indigenous understandings of death and the dead and indigenous celebrations of the dead in three rather distinct settings: the vėlės (spirits of the dead) in the ancient Baltic region, Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico and among Mexicans elsewhere, and the Día de los Muertos in the context of an ethnographic museum (the Peabody Museum, Harvard). The papers examined indigenous ontologies, the psycho-spiritual consequences of ritual behavior, and the problematic and changing dynamics of ethnographic representation, especially in a context in which the people represented are themselves having greater presence and voice.  Eglute Trinkauskaite (Humanistic Studies) presented on "The Ecology of the Living Dead in Ancient Baltic Worldview.” Yuria Celidwen (Pacifica Graduate Institute) presented on "Día de Muertos: Ethics of Belonging and Rituals of Love” and Natalie Solis (Harvard)  on “Día de los Muertos in Boston: Indigenous Religious Celebrations at Harvard’s Peabody Museum.”  Seth Schermerhorn (Hamilton College) responded to the presentations. 


2)  Art/s of Interpretation: Science, Symbol, and Society
Epistemological Reassessments: Theoretical, Paradigmatic, and Practical Implications

Science and religion panel explored different and alternate ways various cultures have construed the acquisition of knowledge and its relationship to the created order--different and alternative to the familiar paradigms we have inherited from the binary of the Enlightenment Science and Religion. This particular session will be devoted to discussion of issues related to the theoretical and practical implications of a scientific worldview on the forms and structures of society. Eglute Trinkauskaite (Humanistic Studies) presented on "The Magic and Science of Lithuanian Healing Charms” along with  Elana Jefferson-Tatum (Tufts University),  Philip P. Arnold (Syracuse University),  Thomas Csordas (University of California, San Diego), and David Carrasco (Harvard University).

IHST Class with Dr. Mel Lewis in Spring 2020 

IHST Course with Jeanette Gerrity Gomez in Spring 2020

HMST Course with Dr. Mel in Spring 2020

Elizabeth Wagenheim and Jeanette Gerrity Gomez recently presented in Querétaro, Mexico at the MEXTESOL 46th International Conference of English Language Teachers. They presented on their initiatives in the English language supported first year humanistic studies classes to introduce extensive reading as a strategy for increased academic success at MICA.


Read our FALL 2019 Humanistic Studies Newsletter here.

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