Montana Ethic Project: The vital role of the humanities


Joey and Libby Early

Jamie Doggett speaks on the importance of the humanities.

This is the 28th chapter of the 32-part video series “The Montana Ethic Project.” This chapter features Jamie Doggett, a former chair of the Montana Committee for the Humanities, speaking on “The Role of the Humanities in Functional Communities.” You can watch the whole video below. Here is an edited transcript of how it begins:

“Hi, I’m Jamie Doggett and I live about 20 miles west of White Sulphur Springs in Paradise, Montana. I want to talk with you today about something that I have a passion for. A long time ago I had the opportunity to participate in the Montana Committee for the Humanities, now called Humanities Montana.

“The humanities changed my life.”

Here is another, edited excerpt from Doggett’s presentation:

“I’m just an ordinary Montana ranch hand. And I’ve had these wonderful opportunities. The wonderful opportunity is when you have a different perspective and you hear different people’s stories. There are so many stories across Montana. Some people showed up last summer at my ranch, they had a picture of the mountains behind my house. They wanted to know if they could take that picture that had a wagon, a woman, and three little kids, and find the exact location by holding it up to the skyline and possibly locate where their family’s homestead was.

“So we stomped around out there in the rocks and the dirt and we finally found this spot. And growing there, in the rocks, in a dry old field, were a bunch of irises that had been planted probably 80 years ago. One of the ladies took a couple of those irises and she is taking them home with her to Missouri where the family originally came from.

“That’s a story. And that’s what the Humanities do. It tells those stories.”

PERC_Logo_MontanaEthicPERC—the Property & Environment Research Center—is a proud sponsor of the Montana Ethic Project. To learn how PERC’s ideas can help us honor one another’s rights to land, water, and wildlife,visit

First week: Project introduction.

Second week: Richard Drake on “Terrorism and the Consolation of History.”

Third week: Mike Gear on “The Value of Athletics.”

Fourth week: Franke Wilmer on “Gender Equity.”

Fifth week: Gordon Brittan on “The Founding Fathers.”

Sixth week: Jim Posewitz on “Montana Sportsmen and the Hunter’s Ethic.”

Seventh week: The Rev. Jessica Crist on “Religion and Politics: Can They Co-exist?”

Eighth week: Chuck Tooley on “The Montana Character.”

Ninth week: Steve Bullock on “Citizens United v. Montana.”

10th week: Carol Williams on “The Imperative for Female Government Participation.”

11th week: Bob Rowe on Technological Development.”

12th weekGeorge Metcalfe on “Economic Development in Africa and Its Relationship to Montana.”

13th weekBruce Smith on “Montana’s Food Economy.”

14th week: Peggy Beltrone on “Montana Wind Energy—Business and Politics.”

15th week: Mark Solon on “Creating an Intermountain West Startup Economy.”

16th week: Bill Yellowtail on “Futuring and Native Leadership.”

17th week: Judy Martz on “Trust in the Lord and He Will Direct Your Path.”

18th week: Bob Brown on “Teddy Roosevelt’s Shadow in Montana’s Big Sky.”

19th week: Gordon Belcourt on “A Montana Native Perspective.”

20th week: Dorothy Eck on “The Montana Constitution and the Right to Know.”

21st week: Pat Barkey on “The Montana Wage Disparity.”

22nd week: Thomas Power on “Valuing Montana: An Economist’s Observations.”

23rd week: Larry Simkins on “The Culture of Safety.”

24th week: James Shanley on “Education Reform.”

25th week: Greg Gianforte on “High Tech in Montana.”

26th week: Jakki Mohr on “The Corporate Model for the 21st Century.”

27th week: Timothy James Lecain on “An Ethical Nature?”

28th week: Steve Running on “Montana Climate Change.”

Next week: Bob Quinn on “Is it Time for GM Wheat?”

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