The Humanities is a collection of academic disciplines that studies the human condition, and this is done by interpreting and analyzing the ways that creative mediums express shared human experiences through time and cultures. Analysis in the Humanities opens up new opportunities for creative storytelling and narratives by using methods that are primarily interpretive, critical, or speculative.
This module will present various exercises designed to using both critical and interpretive practices in order to develop skills to engage in the analysis of different artistic mediums. Each lesson in this module will introduce a medium in the Humanities, in lieu of memorizing information on works selected by me, your instructor, the lessons will instead provide you with tools for analysis. Each lesson will challenge you to use those techniques to analyze a work of your choice. Through this practice, you will be equipped with analytical tools that you can apply as you continue to engage the Humanities beyond this course.
By analyzing different creative mediums, we learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions. These skills allow us to gain new insights into the human experience, and this adds to our knowledge about our world. Analysis allows us to learn about the values of different cultures, the perspectives of different people, and the variety of ways people can view the world.
For Discussion: Read the article, Humanities and Social Sciences: contrasting distinctions, to gain a better understanding of how inquiry in the humanities differs from the social sciences. Then conduct your own research on one of the many techniques used for analysis in the Humanities. Write a minimum 500 word description and include a link to your sources. Be sure to read and comment on the techniques presented by at least two of your classmates; their research might come in hand for you in one or more of the upcoming lessons.
Some key research terms: interpretation, aesthetic interpretation, rhetoric, discourse, hermeneutics, literary theory, literary criticism, historiography, logic, critical theory, ethnography, thick description, semiotics, phenomenology, epistemology, art theory, art criticism …feel free to research and add more.
When you complete the discussion, move on to the Fiction lesson.