Many writers (some with glee, some with concern) have pointed out that the humanities as an object of study seem to be losing their cultural cachet in American society. Critics argue that the humanities are impractical--unlikely to lead to jobs--and overly specialized: a nice hobby for cultural elites, not to be confused with real disciplines. Interestingly, proponents tend to use the same language as critics, arguing that the humanities do lead to jobs and that they are necessary for a full and enriching life (an argument that can sometimes ignore the material realities that make access to the humanities difficult).
In this series, we will consider why we study the humanities. What role should art, literature, poetry, theory, etc., play in our lives, our work, our politics? How do we define the humanities, and who are they for? Who might they unintentionally exclude? In this fraught moment, it can be hard to feel justified making time for art and literature. There are so many protests to attend and senators to call, and so many of the people in our community are struggling to meet their material needs. And yet. We believe that the humanities are for everyone, and over this series we will practice articulating why and how they matter.
We will be holding both day and evening classes, please see the initial schedule below and look for more details soon here and at husci.org/humanities.