Human: An Exploration of the Scientific and Socio-Cultural Factors that Influence What it Means to be Human

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan Piggott (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Theatre is a constantly evolving art form. Whereas two hundred years ago plays told the stories of the trials and tribulations of the elite ruling class , today's shows are moving toward a focus of telling truthful human stories. Pulling from the practice of verbatim theatre which uses recordings of real-life people to tell a story , this project is centered around the question of what it means to be human and what we believe to be our place or purpose in the world. I am exploring this question in a twofold manner by examining it from both an objective and subjective perspective. For the first , I am looking at the concept of humanity from a scientific perspective , looking at how physics , evolutionary biology , and sociology shape our understanding of what makes a human uniquely human. I have conducted background research in the form of literature reviews to gain a general understanding of each field's views , and followed them up with interviews with an expert in each field in order to get a more in-depth understanding. With this knowledge , I am then taking a more subjective approach , looking at how personal identities such as gender , religion , and race and immigration shape how people understand their place in the world. This section was conducted with a series of interviews for each category , exploring how differences in each of these categories affect individual views. Once all of this was completed , I synthesized the interviews into subject specific episodes that fit together to tell a multitude of stories that explore what it means to be human , and published it as a publically accessible podcast. The goal of this project is not to answer this question , but instead to invite people to engage in the conversation and think about their own views in a new way.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2019
humanity, science and culture, podcast

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