My third “link of the week” is a project that really strikes a chord with me. Today was the official launch of a new campaign: the Humanities Matter Webseries and Travel Blog.
The Humanities Matter Bus Tour is scheduled for this summer and will travel across the United States and Canada. It will start in Virginia and end in Victoria, British Columbia, coinciding with the beginning of this year’s Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI). Along the way, the tour will be stopping in various places to talk about the continued importance of humanities education, blogging, and developing their web series. You can read more about their exciting plans on their website or their Kickstarter campaign.
I’m excited about this project because I have always believed in the importance of the humanities. Through humanistic studies we can learn how to think, how to feel, how to empathize, how to understand a world wider than ourselves. And we can improve the lives of others, as we learn how to avoid the mistakes of the past and build a better future. By no means does our modern age render humanities education irrelevant. In fact, I contend that as we move forward into an age of digitization and globalization – an age in which we can feel so isolated – it is more important than ever to teach people to think critically, to think creatively, to be compassionate, to value diverse cultures, and to recognize the things that unite us. Not only that, but new media and technology are providing new avenues for innovative humanities research. The humanities aren’t just for professional historians, theorists and philosophers. The humanities are for kids. The humanities are for grandparents. The humanities are for scientists and lawyers and engineers and businesspeople. The humanities are for HUMANS. And the humanities matter because people matter.
If you also believe that humanities education matters, I encourage you to find a way to get involved with the Humanities Matter group. Humanities Matter is a collaborative project that welcomes not only donations, but also video submissions, stories, even travel companions! And if you’d like your institution or department to be a part of this campaign, I’ve noticed that they are still open to scheduling stops for the tour. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on their progress.