What Is Humanities

Topics: Literature, Poetry, Fiction Pages: 5 (3159 words) Published: December 10, 2014
What is humanities?
The humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture. The humanities use methods that are primarily critical, or speculative, and have a significant historical element—as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences. The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and visual and performing arts such as music and theatre.

The humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the human experience. Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record our world. These modes of expression have become some of the subjects that traditionally fall under the humanities umbrella. Knowledge of these records of human experience gives us the opportunity to feel a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries.

The humanities are the stories, the ideas, and the words that help us make sense of our lives and our world. The humanities introduce us to people we have never met, places we have never visited, and ideas that may have never crossed our minds. By showing how others have lived and thought about life, the humanities help us decide what is important in our own lives and what we can do to make them better. By connecting us with other people, they point the way to answers about what is right or wrong, or what is true to our heritage and our history. The humanities help us address the challenges we face together in our families, our communities, and as a nation.

Branches of humanities
Languages
This particular branch of humanities consists of learning the way people communicate in different speaking countries. It brings a sense of culture to individuals as they are likely to be taught the various history and origins of the languages they learn. The arts

The arts consist of theater, music, art and film. They are all mediums of self expression and these courses in particular encourage personal interpretation and analysis. Fine arts courses also come into this category; however, they focus more on the historical forms of art and their origins. Literature

Literature refers to novels, short stories, plays and so on. Individuals attempt to decipher the meaning of texts and look into symbolism and themes. Literature courses delve into social aspects that may influence texts. Philosophy and religion

These courses study human behavior and the age-old questions such as the meaning of life and the existence of God. They analyze various cultures and their religious beliefs as well as moral codes. History

This is arguably the most facts-based course as individuals delve into past events such as war and politics and how societies and cultures have been affected throughout the years.

Literature
There have been various attempts to define "literature". Simon and Delyse Ryan begin their attempt to answer the question "What is Literature?" with the observation: The quest to discover a definition for "literature" is a road that is much travelled, though the point of arrival, if ever reached, is seldom satisfactory. Most attempted definitions are broad and vague, and they inevitably change over time. In fact, the only thing that is certain about defining literature is that the definition will change. Concepts of what is literature change over time as well. Literature is a term that does not have a universally accepted definition, but which has variably included all written work; writing that possesses literary merit; and language that foregrounds literariness, as opposed to ordinary language. Etymologically the term derives from Latin literatura/litteratura "writing formed with letters", although some definitions include spoken or sung texts. Literature can be classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and whether it is poetry or prose; it can be further distinguished...
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