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Humanities For All Grants Common Questions

What are the humanities?

The humanities explore the human experience. According to the 1965 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, “The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the flowing: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”

What is a humanities program?

An important goal of the humanities is to encourage reflection about values and ideas. All of us hold beliefs and assumptions that shape the way we see the world, whether it’s a contemporary issue or our understanding of an historical event such as the Civil War. A good humanities program makes us think in new ways. It asks questions, without providing past answers. It presents different points of view about a defined issue or topic. A humanities program moves beyond facts and information (what, where, and when) to interpretation (Why is this important? Which version of the story do we choose to believe and why?).

 

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