Involving Humanities Experts

What are the Humanities?

The humanities are the ideas and the knowledge about human history and culture that help you make sense of your life. The humanities ask you to consider how and why we humans think and act as we do.

The humanities inspire curiosity and vision. Inquiry, observation, reflection, analysis, and discussion are the tools of the humanities. A good public humanities program encourages you to think imaginatively and critically about the world.

WHC requires humanities experts to be involved in meaningful ways in the projects we fund.

It can be helpful to think of the humanities as interpretive.  They explore questions that begin with “why?”  Academic disciplines we typically associate with the humanities are listed here. This list is not exhaustive.

  • archaeology
  • cultural anthropology
  • the history, theory, and criticism of the arts
  • ethics
  • ethnic studies
  • folklore
  • history
  • jurisprudence
  • languages
  • linguistics
  • literature
  • philosophy
  • religious studies
  • women’s studies
  • those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.

Involving Humanities Experts

The public humanities, at the core of the WHC mission, emphasize the meaningful and creative engagement of general audiences.

A humanities expert is ordinarily someone with an M.A. or Ph.D. in a humanities discipline or who is otherwise well-qualified to bring a humanities perspective to a project. Examples of the latter include museum curators and tribal elders, or individuals who are acknowledged cultural experts within their communities. In considering the suitability of a humanities expert for a particular project, the WHC looks for breadth and depth of relevant knowledge. We encourage the use of experts who have worked with a public audience and have demonstrated the capacity for encouraging the expression of, and reflection upon, multiple points of view.