Sarah Churchwell: why the humanities matter | Times Higher Education (THE)

Since my first night on the zoom call on Saturday August 8, 2020 we had the discussion of what humanities really means. Since then my definition has changed and expanded vastly. Humanities is normally regarded as a wasted “major” and seen in comparison to the natural sciences, but in reality the humanities involves and incorporates different principles of social sciences. The natural sciences are those of stem related professions such as science, technology, engeringring, and math. The social sciences include sociology, geography, political science, psychology, and communication studies. 

Now to how I interpret humanities. Over the course of the semester my definition of humanities has evolved to constitute history, culture, empathy, writing, creative expression, poetry, religion, mythology, gender, and multicultural studies to name a few. Each unit created a focus around the whole person creating empathy and compassion for those who face differences of race, gender, ethnicity, or creative ideas. Humanities has allowed me to gain new perspectives into ways of thinking regardless of the topic at hand, while incorporating empathy for each individual or community discussed. 

Listed below is a definition of humanities for each Profesor: 

  • Professor Robb: Humanities is understanding experiences outside of our own selves through the connection of history. 
  • Professor Green: Humanities is using our own creative knowledge to express ourselves and incorporate new knowledge to others through teaching. 
  • Professor Fache: Humanities is an expression of all races and ethnicities who can come together to break the old standards of society. 
  • Professor Tamura: Humanities is a way to express empathy for those involved in difficult situations while also creating a discussion around change.