Yesterday’s post on trying to define the humanities got lots of clicks but no answers. On one hand I was disappointed not to have crowd sourced The Answer, on the other deeply relieved that it’s not just me who doesn’t know. One person confessed on Twitter that they’d clicked through in the hope someone else had solved the riddle for them but it seems the question is too tricky for that.
So I thought I’d change the terms of the discussion to see whether that loosens people’s fingers and maybe shuffles us closer towards knowing what we’re trying to represent or save.
Please use the comments section to tell the world who you are and what you’re doing and, if you can, why you think this is part of the humanities.
I’ll start: I’m a part-time PhD student in the English Literature department at the University of Reading, writing about photography and childhood. I’m also an ex-children’s bookseller and I initially used my English Literature undergrad degree to get into tourism marketing. This interdisciplinarity is part of why I like having the umbrella term ‘humanities’ – it suggests I don’t have to stick with one thing, it gives me a sort of permission to extend my thinking to other areas. I also don’t do numbers – I struggle with any kind of statistics and don’t use them in any of my work. ‘Not numbers’ seems a rather perfunctory definition though – has anyone got any advances on this?