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Humanities at GBC

While the HC@gbc is new, the committment of GBC's students, faculty, and staff is long-standing. Below are some of the many humanities activities being undertaken at GBC.


Living Room Travel Guide

Living Room Travel Guide, bookshelf with books, games, telephone, and other items graphic.
Photo Credit: Juliane Liebermann

Dr. Josh Webster English Professor photo.Dr. Josh Webster

English Professor, GBC, Pahrump Campus.


Title: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Format: Novel
Why: While The Starless Sea is far less of a romance than The Night Circus and more of a reflection on storytelling and fantasy in general, Morgenstern's prose has the elegant texture of an old world library, and the beauty of the lines alone make the novel a worthwhile read.

Title: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Format: Novel
Why: The first of a supposed trilogy, I've never seen a fantasy novel take up the idea of place and people and politics with the deftness of The City We Became. If you've ever wondered what sort of person Manhattan might be, it's worth your time.

Title: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Format: Book
Why: As the folklore and mythology of Native people have long been appropriated as horror tropes, I found it incredibly refreshing to see that folklore presented in context of modern Native life by a Native author, especially with Jones's unique and fluid prose.

Title: The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem
Format: Novel
Why: Lethem's novel of a technological apocalypse envisions a collapse of civilization not rooted in violence and road warrior barbarism, but of complicated collectivism and mutual cooperation. In the midst of 2020, it was refreshing to encounter a utopic vision of dystopian life.

Graphic Novels

Title: Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerards
Format: Graphic Novel
Why: Easily one of the most heartfelt superhero comics I've ever come across, King and Gerards take Mister Miracle of The New Gods (the greatest escape artists in the universe) and explore the things that no one, even Scott Free, can break out of: trauma, depression and the ever present possibility of loss. It's funny, it's hopeful, it's sad and it's true, and it has battle scenes and people in capes.

Title: The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado and Dani
Format: Graphic Novel
Why: I've always been interested in the decades burning underground fires of Centerville, PA, and this book takes the premise and runs wild. Machado's style in her short stories and novels translates effectively to the genre, and Dani's art is a perfect accompaniment. The horror at the heart of the tale is timely and unflinching, and quite unlike anything else I've read in a stretch.

Title: The Loneliness of The Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine
Format: Graphic Novel
Why: Sometimes it's a worthwhile endeavor to forgo the capes, tights, rocket ships, swords, monsters and all the other comic trappings and read about people in the business of being people. A longtime New Yorker contributor, Tomine has mastered the essential autobiographic art of not elevating himself above the world, which results in a book of comic anecdotes that are warm, amusing and personal.

Title: Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
Format: Graphic Novel
Why: This year, DeConnick and Rios released the third volume of the Pretty Deadly Series: The Rat. In the tradition of its prior installments (The Shrike and The Bear), The Rat continues the story of the daughter of the grim reaper and the bloodline twisted in her fate, this time against the backdrop of early Hollywood. Between DeConnick's rich writing and Rios's elegant art, all three volumes of Pretty Deadly are poetry in the comic form.

Audio Books

Title: The Sandman Audio Adaptation
Format: Audiobook
Why: If you don't feel like reading all ten volumes of Neil Gaiman's epic comic series The Sandman (which you should), this, the first in a planned series of audio adaptations, will do the trick. It feels more like a radio play than an audiobook, and the voice acting is wonderful (just don't listen with kids in the car).


Title: On The Rocks
Format: Film
Why: I'm always pleased to see a Sofia Coppola film, especially one that feels like the spiritual sequel to Lost in Translation.

Title: The Vast of Night
Format: Film
Why: Too often, filmmakers forget that horror is a tone and a mode of storytelling as much as an effect. The Vast of Night surpasses its aim toward Twilight Zone homage and touches on the most often forgotten aspects of horror films: acting, story and script. Also, the film holds a special appeal for anyone who has driven through the Nevada desert at night.

Title: Memories of Murder
Format: Film
Why: Bong Joon-Ho's second film, loosely based on the search for the first recorded serial killer in South Korea, is, in turns, terrifying, absurd and all too human.

Title: Blow The Man Down
Format: Film
Why: It's a coastal crime noir that would pass the Bechdel test, and Margo Martindale is, as always, a treasure. One of the most, if not the, most compelling films I saw this year.


Title: Abomination
Format: Boardgame
Why: While I'm not usually a fan of worker placement games, which tend to revolve around farming or building empires, Abomination takes the mechanic in a whole new direction by casting the players as scientists attempting to create their own Frankenstein Monsters. It's a macabre twist on standard Euro-gaming, and adds enough variation and complexity to freshen the traditional play style.

with significant support from...National Endowment for the Humantities logo graphic.

“To the man who only has a hammer in the toolkit, every problem looks like a nail.” -Abraham Maslow

…a digital humanities center developed by great basin college because 'humanities matter' ♥