What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to feel pain, suffering, and yet be able to enjoy literature, the fine arts, dance, opera, theatre, music and ” the humanities”.
A book I edited back in 2017 attempts to help thinkers, scholars, and researchers respond and to ponder these questions. Fifteen of the finest minds in the United States and from around the world have each contributed their thoughts and feelings to this book, appropriately entitled “The Humanities: Past , Present and Future”
The contributors are : Jennifer Laubenthal, Jonathan Helmick, and Kathleen Melago, who wrote on ” Music Appreciation as a Part of the Humanities- Past Present and Future” As we all know, music is pervasive- we hear it on television, the radio, in malls and in elevators, and we seem to be continually inundated with various forms of music, yet the old standards, the old symphonies and the rest still seem to be with us. And of course, the work of the Beatles continues to be covered world wide.
Kevin Donnelly has written about the Humanities- down under in Australia- providing his perspective on a topic cherished by many in Australia ( and around the world ).
Donald C. Elder III- has taken on a provocative topic that is extensively discussed today- that being the interpretation of American history- what have Americans done well, what do they have to accept responsibility for, and what should be taught in the history classes, the social studies classes and the civics classes, not just in the United States, but around the world. Certainly history is part of man’s humanity and the Humanities.
Literacy Instruction- an integral part of the humanities was addressed by Wally Thompson and Debra Coffee. Deciding upon what to teach may be just as important as to how to teach literacy and literature.
Paul Horton, a scholar who almost needs no introduction addresses the impact of corporate structures on the teaching of the Humanities.
What is the role of technology and computers in the instruction of the Humanities? Arjun Sabharwal, an outstanding researcher addresses this cutting edge issue.
Gerald Cupchik of Canada and I enjoy a back and forth discussion about the Humanities, Emotions and Aesthetics. Cupchik’s work is well known in the field of aesthetics and the humanities.
Geni Flores addresses the issue of the Humanities being an instrument of “social justice”.
Joshua Mc Vey forays into the realm of Biblical Hermeneutics, and the interpretation of scripture.
Anne Beck takes center stage in terms of addressing the American Theatre as part of the Humanities.
Donald Elder- a space historian, attempts to place man’s exploration into space into the catalog of the Humanities.
Opal Greer discusses the role of the Humanities in the University scheme of things, while Will Fitzhugh examines the realm of written expression and the Humanities.
Herbert London ends with a probing look into the future of the Humanities.