The study of Humanities is defined by Stanford University as trying to understand “how individuals process and document human experience”. Philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and linguistics have always been our companions when we needed to understand and record what happens in the world.
The English university system allows you to study all these disciplines separately (literature and linguistics come together in the different philologies or degrees in modern languages). There are many reasons that make training in humanities worthy, for example:
- You acquire analytical thinking skills that can be applied to any job.
- Competences in oral and written expression and communication are developed.
- You establish connections between different forms of knowledge, which is vital in interdisciplinary work.
- Studying cultures from other places and past times give you a global perspective.
- The opportunity to understand and learn to appreciate other cultures.
- You learn to appreciate creativity and support artistic activity in your environment.
- It gives you clear and contrasted values with people from other cultures. Thus, you can better defend your opinion.
- It gives you resources to deal with adversity, success, failure and triumph.
You learn to distinguish what makes sense from what does not.
These reasons are more than interesting and would justify a lifetime dedicated to humanistic emphasis. The problem appears when we need to choose our studies according to the job offer.
Humanities studies have been oriented towards four sectors, of which we highlight:
- Cultural and heritage management
- Analysis and criticism of texts
- Editing and publishing texts
- Content management in electronic media
This last orientation is directly related to a discipline of recent creation; the Digital Humanities. It appears with this name from 2004, although it was worked as Humanistic informatics. The work of the Digital Humanities is basically interdisciplinary and combines the use of humanistic methodologies with digital tools. The best-known projects have to do with the digitization of texts, since, they allow a lexicographic and philological work unthinkable a few years ago.
Some results of the work in Digital Humanities include:
- Open access to scientific publications;
- Intellectual property rights, especially for digital publications;
- The historical-cultural development of «the digital», which increasingly becomes the centre of reflection and not a mere methodology;
- The hypertext to work ancient and medieval texts;
- The digital age in the history of books and reading;
- The possibilities of “digital native” literature;
- Digital communication and its cognitive effects;
- New audiences for the digital humanities.
Humanities continue reformulating themselves in such a positive way. The combination of Humanities with computer science and digital knowledge opens a world that’s yet to be explored. Would you join it?