Voices For the Humanities

4Humanities is a platform for people from different parts of society and the world to give voice to the enduring and contemporary importance of the humanities. Why study and creative expression in such areas as literature, history, languages, philosophy, classics, art history, cultural studies, and others (see “What Are the Humanities?”) so valuable to individuals and societies? The voices gathered here say why.

* 4Humanities seeks out both original and reposted statements about the humanities from people in business, the sciences, entertainment, universities, high schools, and other sectors. We also report on significant developments and initiatives related to the humanities.

* Listen to the voices in our sections on “Advocacy Statements & Campaigns,” “The Changing Humanities,” “Student Voices,” and “International Correspondents.”

* Also listen to the voices gathered in our special projects “Humanities, Plain & Simple” and “Backpack Mini-documentaries.”

For those wishing to consult resources in framing their own statement for the humanities, 4Humanities offers a “Guide to Issues in Humanities Advocacy” and its “The Humanities Matter!” infographic.

The Importance of Mission and STEAM in Business Today

As a Not-For-Profit Administrator I was often plagued by the assumption from For-Profit Business Professionals that our work was substandard to their own, that by virtue of the title we were an inferior business model. Even our Presidential Race echoes this sentiment with people supporting Donald Trump because he is seen as a successful business executive that can get the country back on track financially. The question I would ask these business professionals is: “What is the mission of Capitalism, and how will it react to a marketplace that is evolving faster than ever before”?

Photo by Geoffrey Rockwell

On Starving the Humanities and Social Sciences of Students and Funding in Japan: 4Humanities’ View

On June 8th, 2015 the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology informed national universities that they should cut or change their departments associated with the humanities and social sciences (HSS). The “nonbinding” notice went to the 86 national universities – universities that depend on the government for support for about 44% of their funding. It asked for plans, which many believe will then be taken into account by the Ministry in the allocation of future funds. A follow up survey of national university presidents found that at least 26 had plans to stop accepting students into HSS programs, though the important universities of Tokyo and Kyoto have refused. 4Humanities responds to this directive.

Geopolitical Diversity in Digital Humanities: An Interview with Isabel Galina Russell

Ernesto Priego interviews Isabel Galina Russell in anticipation of her UCLDH Seminar Series talk “Geopolitical diversity in Digital Humanities: how can we make it happen?”, on Friday 9 October 2015.

The California Pluralism Project: Digital Humanities Improves Religious Literacy

The California Pluralism Project is making creative use of digital technology to provide free resources for humanities educators as well as to the general public. Public humanities initiatives like this are working to provide resources that will further conversations about the challenges and possibilities of diversity in the U.S.

The Work Humanists Do: An Interview with 4Hum’s New International Correspondent

Lauren Horn Griffin is 4Humanities.org’s new International Correspondent! She will write on humanities advocacy projects, humanities issues, the relation of the humanities to society, and specific humanities initiatives. Lauren is currently working as the Communications Coordinator for the nonprofit Institute for Diversity and City Life while she finishes her Ph.D., and she is a passionate advocate for the humanities. I caught up with her in Santa Barbara for a chat over coffee to see why the humanities are important to her.

Alan Wildeman on Ignoring the Liberal Arts

The President of the University of Windsor, Alan Wildeman, has contributed a piece to the Globe and Mail titled “We Ignore the Liberal Arts at Our Peril.” In it he argues for the humanities and social sciences.

The exhilaration of the Age of Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries has been replaced by the nervousness of what appears to be an Age of Justification in the 21st century. Moderm society’s love of innovative gadgets and apps, pronouncements that youth can now be taught on the Internet (and possibly become high-profile entrepreneurs to boot), and social media outpourings that give falsehoods as much airplay as truths, have created a cocktail of rhetoric for critics who are sure that a liberal arts degree is a worthless investment.

Wildeman mentions research from the Education and Policy Research Initiative to the effect that humanities and social science students start with earnings of around CAD $40,000 after graduation and are earning close to double that 13 years later. You can read a summary by of the lead researchers, Ross Finnie, in an Ottawa Citizen piece, “How Your Degree Might Influence Your Earning Potential.” Too many people are basing their opinions on the liberal arts based on short-term employment. (Read more…)