World in Strife - Returning to the Humanities
Keywords:Humanities, human beings, Arts, coronavirus, technology, global warfare, neo-liberalism, post-truth society
AbstractThe background of this article relates to a long, ongoing attenuation of the Humanities within universities. The problem is the continuing sidelining of the Humanities in university teaching and research funding. If this attenuation and sidelining continue, the world will be a much more cruel and dangerous place, as there will be no moral or ethical check on scientific and technological developments from a humanitarian perspective. This article discusses some of the fears, hopes and criticisms of the Humanities expressed by scholars around the globe, from western democracies including Australia, as well as from middle-eastern and eastern autocracies. The article examines the challenges facing the Humanities, which range from funding issues to elimination in favour of the Sciences. It contextualises the strengths and weaknesses of the Humanities within a world population, battling for the first time in a century with virus strains requiring new vaccines and the threat of global war. The proposition is that universities and government research funding bodies across the world review and redesign their models to provide equal weighting to the Humanities as well as to the Sciences in teaching and in research.
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