“What Everyone Says About the Humanities” Research Project

The 4Humanities WhatEvery1Says research project is collecting a corpus of public discourse about the humanities (in newspapers, magazines, blogs, reports intended for the public or legislatures, etc.) and analyzing that corpus with digital text-analysis methods.

Our hypothesis is that digital methods can help us learn new things about how media pundits, politicians, business leaders, administrators, scholars, students, artists, and others are actually thinking about the humanities. For example, are there sub-themes beneath the familiar dominant clichés and memes? Are there hidden connections or mismatches between the “frames” (premises, metaphors, and narratives) of those arguing for and against the humanities? How do different parts of the world or different kinds of speakers compare in the way they think about the humanities? Instead of concentrating on set debates and well-worn arguments, can we exploit new approaches or surprising commonalities to advocate for the humanities in the 21st century?”

We hope to use findings from the WhatEvery1Says project to provide advocates for the humanities with strategies and materials for effective communication of the value of humanistic study and knowledge–with narratives, arguments, scenarios, and evidence that advance, rather than simply react to, public conversation on the place of the humanities in today’s world.

The WhatEvery1Says project aims to produce the following (more . . . .):

Mellon Foundation Funds the 4Humanities “WhatEvery1Says” Project

4Humanities is happy to announce that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided $1.1 million in funding for the WhatEvery1Says (WE1S) project for three years, beginning October 1, 2017. Based at University of California, Santa Barbara, with partners at California State University, Northridge, and University of Miami, the WE1S project investigates how the news media […]

“The Heart of the Matter” Topic-Modeled (A Preliminary Experiment)

The American Academy of Arts & Science’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences issued its important “The Heart of the Matter” report to the U.S. Congress and the American public in June 2013.  4Humanities has been collecting such public statements about the humanities from around the world for analysis in its WhatEvery1Says corpus–statements that […]

What Everyone Says About the Humanities Research Project

The 4Humanities What Everyone Says About the Humanities Research Project (#WhatEvery1Says) emerges from efforts of the local chapter of 4Humanities at UC Santa Barbara (4Humanities@UCSB) to identify public perceptions of the humanities, formulate the core value(s) of the humanities, and strategize ways to “frame” these values for effective communication (through framing narratives, metaphors, scenarios, paradigms). […]