Why Do Humanities Matter? It always reflects the marginal interest of the policymakers, therefore it’s always the adjunct part of any university We orient ourselves exclusively to the marketplace at our peril. The Humanities Matter! Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*). “The arts and humanities matter today because they always matter. Meanwhile, and probably not coincidentally, employers across the country express concern that newer hires often lack the very skills learned through humanities courses, such as critical thinking, contextual understanding, and the ability to write well. I agree with her argument that the integrity of democracy depends on an informed public. They foster social justice and equality. Nevertheless, during these tumultuous times their importance is thrown into greater relief. The humanities offer a careful assessment of different cultures and languages, and allows us, as persons, to identify commonalities and positive difference in other cultural texts, religious practices, and discussion of certain customs groups of people have. I can’t imagine, nor do I wish to do so, a life without the beauty of artfully crafted texts, images, and sounds. Contemplating a sculpture might make you think about how an artist's life affected her creative decisions. I sent out emails telling them how to easily get full points for their weekly assignments, but the ones that complained grading was too tough. But I’m also recurringly struck by the ways in which we consistently and necessarily turn to the humanities and arts for answers, for healing, and for resolution in the most difficult and trying of times. Humanities Why are the Humanities Important? History, literature, languages, philosophy, and more… these subjects have always occupied a place of central importance at the University of Utah. A pioneering textual analysis of French political speeches led by Stanford Professor of French Cécile Alduy reveals how Marine Le Pen, leader of France's surging far-right National Front, has made extremism palatable in a land of republican values. What humanities? These trends and ongoing discussions are paramount to those who champion the humanities, including Dianne Harris, a history professor and former dean of the U’s College of Humanities. Responding to essential questions regarding whether the humanities can remain politically and academically relevant amid this twenty-first-century uncertainty, Why the Humanities Matter offers a guided tour of the modern condition, calling upon thinkers in a variety of disciplines to affirm essential concepts such as truth, goodness, and beauty. Also, my father was a geologist, and he had a profound sense of the earth as an historical document that could be read. We hardly find the government’s policy and agenda to build a university exclusively for humanities. Two students of about sixty explicitly said that they only wanted to get a D (and I assume from the consistent low C high D performance of others that that was the case for others too). “It provides an opportunity to have a positive impact on the humanities at an unparalleled scale,” she says. Utah lacrosse blazes a new trail as a Division I program. I welcome your feedback and discussion. Bringing Clarity to the Future I surely couldn’t have articulated it as such at the time, but the Baker Street branch of the public library in Bakersfield, California, changed my life by making reading—and thus the humanities— essential to my world. The Humanities are academic disciplines that seek to understand and interpret the human experience, from individuals to entire cultures, engaging in the discovery, preservation, and communication of the past and present record to enable a deeper … Harris: All the available data that have been collected over the past decade by reputable sources such as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (see their Humanities Indicators project) show us that humanities degree holders do every bit as well financially over the span of their working lives as do those who hold degrees in business, education, and in many of the sciences. © Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305. I offered help on every assignment and only three or four students ever took me up on it. Why the Digital Humanities Matter Mark Bowles | Professor, American Public University System As more and more information becomes available online, students — especially non-traditional students — should be well-versed in digital humanities. Working with an international team, Stanford history Professor Londa Schiebinger has used gender analysis to spark discovery in science and innovation in technology. In short, the study of the humanities pushes physicians to reflect on the proper use of medical knowledge, reflections which are vital when trying to avoid awful moral compromises that other physicians have made in the past. WHAT WAS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF FIRST REALIZING THE VALUE OF THE HUMANITIES IN YOUR OWN LIFE? Campion College’s new 2020 cohort being matriculated into … Listening to a history course might help you better understand the past, while at the same time offer you a clearer picture of the future. Because these skills allow us to gain new insights into everything from poetry and paintings to business models and politics, humanistic subjects have been at the heart of a liberal arts education since the ancient Greeks first used  them to educate their citizens. One 2017 study found that the fastest-growing jobs in the US in the last 30 years have almost all specifically required a high level of social skills. I subscribe to the thought that “If all I had was a loaf of bread, I would sell half to buy white hyacinths to feed my soul.” However, I also agree with the comments of Thomas Johnson, above, that to be well rounded one must also have a grasp of math and other sciences. The humanities are the study of what makes us human, of what it means to be human. Your email address will not be published. But just as important, we also know from that data that humanities degree holders have among the highest rates of lifelong job satisfaction and fulfillment because they are pursuing meaningful work and enriching their lives—and the lives of others—by using the skills they acquired through their humanities majors. Through the work of humanities scholars, we learn about the values of different cultures, about what goes into making a work of art, about how history is made. Over the years I have many times recalled something from the material and I must agree that the class influenced my thinking in a positive way. We also read in school, of course, but I particularly remember the ways reading fiction became a mainstay of everyday life in the summer. EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT CONTINUUM | @TheU. Former NEH chairman on campus March 27-28. I graduated from the University in history, but wound up in a business career as a real estate appraiser, where an understanding of math as well as the ability to write a coherent sentence was essential. If we don’t ensure such an educated citizenry, one that is steeped in a humanities education, our future looks far less bright, and our democracy will be increasingly destabilized. rounded except flat on one side. Why the Humanities matter. Then there’s the annual hold-your-breath ritual around the question of federal public funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities, which divvies out funds to the 56 state humanities councils across the country, dependent on its largess to produce education programs for college faculty and public programs that enrich personal and civic life. I think it’s also important to consider the level of education that comes with a bachelor’s in any topic. We also look to those same humanities and arts disciplines when seeking how best to express joy and to celebrate human achievement. Their efforts preserve the great accomplishments of the past, help us understand the world we live in, and give us tools to imagine the future. Why the Humanities Matter. Why the humanities matter now more than ever The liberal arts are essential to any functioning liberal democracy and the American experiment as a whole. Contact. Learning another language might help you gain an appreciation for the similarities in different cultures. MATTER! I studied Metallurgical Engineering and a class in humanities was required. Research into the human experience adds to our knowledge about our world. Artists who don’t understand economics do not make good citizens. Dianne Harris: We are living in profoundly complex times that demand mastery of the skills we teach in the humanities to successfully navigate many key aspects of daily life. Left and right human brain. Responding to essential questions regarding whether the humanities can remain politically and academically relevant amid this twenty-first-century uncertainty, Why the Humanities Matter offers a guided tour of the modern condition, calling upon thinkers in a variety of disciplines to affirm essential concepts such as truth, goodness, and beauty. We lived in a place where it was too hot to play outdoors during much of the day in the summer, so indoor reading kept us occupied and out of trouble for hours at a time. I thought it was a waste of time and not relevant. At first, reading was simple entertainment, but books quickly became an entry point into entirely unknown worlds of adventure, mystery, fantasy, history, and more. This year, all Why the Humanities Matter workshops will be held online using the Zoom platform. I was TA to a few students who put taking their Gen Ed history class off until the final semester of their Bachelor’s program, who lacked a basic grasp of reasoning. Harris makes a convincing rational argument, which is effective to those that believe as she does. Minor in philosophy because you want to know something about philosophy. Yet today, with increasing emphasis on the disciplines of science, business, and technology, the value of a humanities education has become a debated topic on campuses, in workplaces, and on the political scene. Every road trip with my father turned into some sort of teachable moment that wove together the history of the earth with the history of the people living on the planet. According to a 2016 analysis from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences published in Inside Higher Ed, the number of humanities undergrad majors has been on a slow decline, hitting an all-time low in 2014. Take a poetry class. However, the U printed 2” thick book of required reading was interesting. No one should live in a cocoon. The humanities teach empathy. Why the Humanities Matter. In the wake of national trauma, we look to the poets and writers, to artists, historians, musicians, and philosophers… to help us ease the pain.”. Comments are moderated, so there may be a slight delay before approved comments are posted. The Humanities are academic disciplines that seek to appreciate and interpret the human experience, from individuals to entire cultures, engaging in the discover, preservation, and communication of the PAST and PRESENT record to enable a deeper understanding of contemporary society. University Marketing & Communications75 Fort Douglas Blvd., Building 601Salt Lake City, Utah, 84113801.581.6773. Message from UWM’s Associate Dean of the Humanities, Jasmine Alinder: ... Why the Humanities are Cost Effective. WHAT ABOUT THE CONCERNS SOME STUDENTS AND PARENTS HAVE ABOUT THE EARNING POTENTIAL OR JOB PROSPECTS OF STUDENTS WHO STUDY HUMANITIES? A person cannot be well rounded without a basic knowledge of math to include statistics and the basic ideas of Calculus. The humanities have defined civilization for all of history. In framing our argument this way, advocates of the arts and humanities are conceding the larger point: that education exists solely to produce hands for industry. They often report study results listing the number of people responding to a survey in a particular way without giving the context of how many people are included in the sample. 4Humanities invites additional statistics (including from more parts of the world) so that it can expand the infographics initiative and, funds allowing, produce future versions. And they reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world. The future of our democracy depends on a citizenry that deeply understands its past; that communicates clearly and effectively; that is able to read texts with care and discernment so that fact can be sorted from fiction; that understands ethics and the underpinnings of logic and what is at stake in the leading of an ethical life; that understands how to frame a clear and compelling argument based in rigorously produced research; that embraces the rich mosaic of difference in all its forms and understands that our differences are what make us great; that is multilingual and values diverse modes of communication. Those early conversations forever shaped my sense that we are responsible to and for other humans and for the planet. The humanities help us understand others through their languages, histories and cultures. Artwork comprises portions of several paintings by Pilar Pobil displayed throughout the U's Humanities Building. That requires creative thinking, not just problem-solving capabilities. Book Description: Is there life after postmodernism? Ah, the humanities. This is from Why the Humanities Matter: In Defense of Liberal Education. They are like a flat tire. Book Description: Why the Humanities Matter Today explains the importance of philosophy, foreign language, literature, history, political theory, and liberal education in American higher education. I don't believe the problem facing the humanities is hostility. Harris: Like many, I was fortunate to have parents who read to me when I was very young, and who frequently took me to the local public library when I was a child. Reading a book from another region of the world, might help you think about the meaning of democracy. We need both areas of understanding. Harris: The humanities are crucial to a healthy democracy, just as they also provide opportunities for fulfilled and gainful employment and an enriched life. Why the Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education is an attempt to do so by having philosophers, literature and foreign language professors, historians, and political theorists defend the value and explain the worth of their respective disciplines as well … Through exploration of the humanities we learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions. Through a historical analysis of agrarian reform and hydraulic technology, Stanford professor Mikael Wolfe discovers how politically well-connected business interests helped put Mexico's groundwater supply on a path toward unsustainability. Many claim that it sounded the death knell for history, art, ideology, science, possibly all of Western philosophy, and certainly for the concept of reality itself. Far from being degrees to nowhere, humanities degrees—as all the data show us—are degrees to everywhere. During one of my many moves, I tossed that text and today, I would like to be able to re-read some of that material. The humanities are especially vital in an interconnected, restless world. Titled "The Heart of the Matter," the report states: "As we strive to create a more civil public discourse, a more adaptable and creative workforce, and a more secure nation, the humanities … In the wake of national trauma, for example, we look to the poets and writers, to artists, historians, musicians, and philosophers, for the tools that help us ease the pain of trauma into memory, and to help us process grief and sorrow. YOU RECENTLY WROTE IN AN OP-ED, “WE NEED THE HUMANITIES NOW MORE THAN EVER.” WHY IS THAT? The earliest curricula at the U focused on liberal arts and classics, and the College of Humanities will celebrate its 50th anniversary as a free-standing college in 2020. Through the work of humanities scholars, we learn about the values of different cultures, about what goes into making a work of art, about how history is made. Responding to essential questions regarding whether the humanities can remain politically and academically relevant amid this twenty-first-century uncertainty, Why the Humanities Matter offers a guided tour of the modern condition, calling upon thinkers in a variety of disciplines to affirm essential concepts such as truth, goodness, and beauty. It is intended for general readers. Harris: The humanities are crucial to a healthy democracy, just as they also provide opportunities for fulfilled and gainful employment and an enriched life. Their efforts preserve the great accomplishments of the past, help us understand the world we live in, and give us tools to imagine the future. The journalist you are citing may have a degree, but that doesn’t mean they cared about learning or even remember much of what they were taught. It might be going too far to say that studying the humanities makes you happier over the long haul of life, but I do think the humanities give us the tools to seek out enriching and deeply rewarding resources that move us towards fulfilled lives of meaning and purpose. So from an old grad, I highly recommend the topic be included in the required classes. BS 68. But in the absence of a strong background in the humanities, STEM education alone will leave our society impoverished and ill-prepared for the rapidly changing world ahead. The humanities seek to understand the broad range of human experience. Also available is Kirk Fitzpatrick’s “The Third Era of Education” and Lee Trepanier’s “The Relevance of Political Philosophy and Political Science.” Our review of the book is available here. The reality is that a BA can mean anything from “a student put in a minimum of effort and passed with D’s and C’s” to “this is a person who is really motivated to learn and apply the information made available to them through their education.” There is only so much teachers can do if students aren’t interested. It pains me to go to the symphony and ballet and see only half the seats filled much of the time. Why the Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education is an attempt to do so by having philosophers, literature and foreign language professors, historians, and political theorists defend the value and explain the worth of their respective disciplines as well as illuminate the importance of liberal education. While the exact sciences are unrivaled in their ability to reveal objective facts about the universe, they are curiously silent when it … I do believe the humanities matter but the concept of being a well rounded person encompassed in non-stem degrees really isn’t well rounded. Harris began in her new role November 1. You are torturing animals in the most inhumane and unimaginable ways with taxpayer money. Sherree Buchanon Administrative Assistant Department of Humanities G-210 Arts & Sciences Bldg SherreeBuchanon@clayton.edu (678) 466-4890 This is why employers *should* ask for college transcripts, not just a diploma. I have always loved the humanities. I did read it all. Humanities Matter. I think that is what Ms. Harris is trying to say. Professional Development for Institute for K-12 Teachers . If that is true, then logically all intellectual disciplines should ultimately be judged by the same measures. The persuasive argument that LM Jennings feels is missing here might be more of an indicator of how in late era American capitalism, there is only one civilizing force: the market. There is no question that STEM education is tremendously important as well. HOW DO THE HUMANITIES BENEFIT US AS A SOCIETY? Even higher education is now driven by the market, as is religion, and government, the other anchors to what we traditionally viewed as “the town square.” Unless something can be measured as valuable by the market, or has a quantifiable (read: monetary) value, then the warrants aren’t there for what he refers to as “a persuasive argument” for the humanities in education and everyday life. is part of the 4Humanities Humanities Infographics initiative, including Infographics Friday online posts. And while she has enjoyed serving as dean and calls Salt Lake City “one of the most welcoming and beautiful cities on earth,” she acknowledges that joining the Mellon Foundation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support the humanities in higher education at a time when doing so feels especially urgent. Harris recently left the U after serving two years as dean to take an impressive position as senior program officer in higher education and scholarship in the humanities with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York City, which is committed to the humanities, the arts, and higher education. However, she does not make a persuasive argument. Investigating a branch of philosophy might get you thinking about ethical questions. That’s why the humanities matter.” “We now live in a scientistic world where everything comes down to data and measurements, and that has become our society’s religion: science or business,” says Will. Plus you don’t actually have to graduate in the humanities to personally benefit from some classes. This is only a little off the main course of the subject. Copyright Complaints, Stanford scholar unpacks the rhetoric behind extremist politician's mainstream success, Stanford historian explores how gender analysis leads to innovation, Stanford historian unearths greed-drenched origins of Mexico's groundwater crisis. I worry that universities have prices themselves out of the education market and that more and more people will go on to technical training and not have any exposure to the humanities. They foster a genuine and deep understanding of individual and social justice, an authentic appreciation and admiration for difference, and a thrilling and life-enhancing recognition of beauty in its many forms. But before she left the U, we asked her to share why she believes the humanities matter. "Why we still need to study the Humanities in a STEM world" Gerald Greenberg "What Engineers and Humanists can learn from one another" "Why 'worthless' Humanities degress may set you up for life" Amanda Ruggeri INTERDISCIPLINARY HUMANITIES INITIATIVES Duke University Humanities Laboratories. The BA graduates who write our news and report on the media clearly do not understand basic differences like confusing the national debt with a balanced annual budget. The politicians and corporations telling us that the humanities do not matter are, by no coincidence, the same people who think of us only as workers and consumers, not as citizens or individuals, and who strip away our human rights, one by one. Shame on you!! Exposure and understanding is important, at the very least because we decide whether to fund the humanities, or the arts, or even public science. Tips for choosing a major and navigating the academic journey. Dr. Adam L. Tate Chair, Department of Humanities G-210 Arts & Sciences Bldg AdamTate@clayton.edu (678) 466-4809. Instead of summer camp, we would head to the library every week and check out books to keep us busy. We need to strive for a population that is as widely educated as possible in the critical realms of knowledge that are not simply aimed at problem-solving, but that instead permit our citizens to understand how to frame the most pressing problems that exist now, and to forecast what those will be in the future. Welcome to "Why the Humanities Matter" I am trying to make the case that literature, the arts, the study of languages are indeed important in today's society. Anna Hitchings 16 July 2020 0 Reading Time: 3 minutes. THE HUMANITIES are about what it is to be human. Today, humanistic knowledge continues to provide the ideal foundation for exploring and understanding the human experience. 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