humanities is all about the human experience, human interaction and the human family. Our course throughout the semester has exhibited the wide variety of characteristics of our human experience including love and hate, suffering and happiness, and invention and moving backwards.
In Unit 1, we delved into how certain groups marginalize others and leave them out of the human family. We discussed the concept of “othering” and how women and African Americans have been “othered” by the white Americans and Europeans. We talked about how certain groups humanity has not been valued throughout time and they become seen as something inhuman.
In unit 3, we discussed the human emotions of empathy and humanity’s tendency to look at pictures of grotesque images. We talked about the conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis and the extreme measures humans are able to take against their brothers because they are perceived as different.
In Unit 4, we explored how humans used a book meant to represent good and a moral code for Christians to justify horrific acts of slavery. We talked about how blacks in Monroe were denied swimming at a pool because the pool would have to get drained every time they swam.
Humanity can be evil. Humanity can be good. The human experience can be filled with suffering, or it can be described by great accomplishments and inventions by wonderful scholars. Humanity often takes extremes. From the brutal mass murdering of Tutsis to wonderful scientific findings by scholars such as Copernicus.
So when defining humanities, I consider humanities everything that encapsulates the human experience. The pain, the suffering, the good and the bad. Our interactions, our creations, and our effect on the world.