New online publication an addition to humanities center

Luis Garcia, Photo Editor

By Luis Garcia

Photo Editor


The premier issue of the “Levan Humanities Review” by the Norman Levan Center for the Humanities at Bakersfield College is now online.

“Levan Humanities Review” is a new online publication that is publishing articles, essays, a book review, and poetry by staff and faculty of Bakersfield College, Taft College, Porterville College, CSUB and established writers of Kern County.

Levan Center director Jack Hernandez originally proposed the project, and it premiered on April 1.

Hernandez gave background information on the origins of the review and its purpose on a campus like BC.

“Centers like this will have things like that [the review],” he said. “This is a very unusual center.

“Unusual in the sense that they don’t exist much on two-year college campuses.

“About a year ago, I thought ‘why not do a journal about the humanities and the humanities in science and medicine?’ because that’s the mission of the center, which is to enhance the humanities in our lives and the community.”

Hernandez also contributed a piece that was presented at the first annual Levan Lecture at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., in July 2012.

Matthew Morgan, philosophy professor at BC, first heard about the review last summer after being awarded a Levan Faculty Summer Grant.

Morgan’s presentation focused on the teaching philosophy of Brazilian writer Paulo Freire and its relevance to teaching at BC.

Morgan’s contribution essay dealt with John Huppenthal, the superintendent of Public Instruction in Arizona,  and a state law that targeted Mexican American study programs and the use of law to threaten the Tucson Unified School District with funding cuts if they continued to offer the program.

Morgan shared some insight into the content of his essay featured on the review being published.

“Arizona was just being absurd with their policies and Huppenthal was justifying his policies while teaching Freire’s words,” said Morgan. “Huppenthal just misunderstands Freire, and so I thought I’d write this essay as a response to clarify the relation between Freire and a type of program like this.

“I think the Mexican American studies program is really important in what they are trying to accomplish, and working in Freire’s ideas into the goals of that program is a really interesting and effective move to make.”

The Levan Humanities Review will be released once a year during the spring semester and can be found at