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Defining Humanities

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Defining the Humanities

Defining the Humanities The humanities are past stories and events that help form our lives by looking back on how others lived and thought about life.

The humanities are essential for understanding the past that is responsible for the creation of the present. The humanities are academic disciplines which study the human condition using methods that are largely analytic, critical, or speculative. This differs from academic disciplines which use an empirical approach in which evidence is gathered using the senses. The study of the human condition, the humanities cover areas such as art, music, architecture, philosophy, and literature. All other modes of human inquiry are about studying non-human subjects. If it does not encompass the human condition, it is not generally classified as humanities. Art Art has long been a means of expressing social or political ideas. Anselm Kiefer took art and brought it to an entirely new level by using his art to bring attention to national identity and collective memory. In the process his art began evolving to include occult symbolism, theology, and mysticism. All of his work shares a common theme of the trauma experienced by entire societies and the continual rebirth and renewal in life. Kiefer’s works are usually designed in a depressive and destructive style in large scale formats. He often uses photography in conjunction with earth and raw materials. Kiefer is known to include names of people o ...

One of the most unforgettable cultural events I have attended was the musical, Les Miserables, which is set during the early 19th century when France was on the verge of one of their many waves of revolutions. When we arrived at the theater my friend who I was with, ran into a good friend, who also happened to be the manager at the theater that evening. He graciously sat us in seats three rows back from the stage, rather than in the seats we had purchased. The experience was remarkable as we could see every facial expression and the sweat on the brow of each of the actors. I have had the privilege of seeing Andrew Lloyd Weber’s production of Phantom of the Opera twice and each time the play was magnificent, but the experience of watching Les Miz from so close up, gave me a completely different experience, as everything was so much more profound. I have been to concerts, movies, and I have read many books, but my experiences from attending live performances at the theater have been multi faceted and seem to encompass all the others.

To address the many scenes and characters in Les Miz would take more words than we are allowed, but I would like to focus in on a scene that takes place between the main character of Jean Valjean and the Bishop of Digne. Jean Valjean was arrested for stealing bread for his sister and her family during a time when the poor were very oppressed, he served 19 years in jail doing hard labor, was released, and after Valjean’s release from prison, he finds shelter and food in the home of the Bishop of Digne,

I believe this scene is pivotal to the remaining character of Jean Valjean and to the play as a whole. This scene unfolds with Jean Valjean seeking a place to stay for the evening, after being released from jail, but no one will take him in now that he is marked as a convict. He finally knocks on the bishop’s door...

Humanities can be defined as human characteristics or different branches of learning. Humanities have affected every culture. One cultural event that I have experienced and I have seen how humanities have changed it over the years is music. Music that is made and played has evolved as humans have evolved over the years. The first music was made during the Middle Ages. The first two types or styles of music were monophonic and polyphonic. The Renaissance period came next and changed the way music was created and perceived. The Baroque period came after the Renaissance period. During the Baroque period composers experimented with different styles and instruments. Classical music came from the Baroque period. Classical music allowed the composer to tell a story or express his or her feelings through the music. The Romantic period was next. Composers experimented with different instruments including wind instruments. The music was more dramatic than any other time period. After the Romantic period came the 20th century. Music in the 20th century allowed the composer and artist to use technology to enhance the compositions. And now in the we have different styles and types of music because of the humanistic of music. We have country, rap, rhythm & blues, soul, gospel just to name a few styles of music that is listened to today. Dance is another cultural event that I have experienced and that has been changed by humanities. Dance is the movement of the body usually to music. Dance has been used since the prehistoric days. Dance was a part of ceremony, celebrations, and rituals in the earliest human civilizations. Dance has developed through the years just has music evolved and changed. Different dances were created for different time periods for...


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