Hu•man•i•ties|(h)yoōˈmanitēs|Academic disciplines that study the humancondition, using methods that are primarilyanalytical, critical, or speculative, asdistinguished from the mainly empiricalapproaches of the natural sciences. Source: Wikipedia
Liberal arts |ˈlib(ə)rəl ärts|Curriculum that imparts general knowledgeand develops the student’s rational thoughtand intellectual capabilities.The seven classic liberal arts are......grammar, logic and rhetoric (the Trivium)...arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy (the Quadrivium) Source: Wikipedia
So•cial me•dia |ˈsō sh əl ˈmēdēə|Refers to the use of web-based and mobiletechnologies to turn communications into aninteractive dialogue. Source: Wikipedia
The potential for learning about theHumanities through Social Media is huge.1
Academicians’ Use of Social Media for Research (by Discipline) 100.00 90.00 84.00 83.70 75.00 79.20 73.70Percent 50.00 25.00 0 Math & Environmental Social Arts & Business & Computer Science Science Humanities Management Science Source: CIBER (2010)
There are already many innovative waysto use digital/social media to study theHumanities. 3
The Internet and Humanities: Parallel Developments “ComputationalWeb 1.0 Data aggregation Humanities 1.0 Humanities” Customization, collaboration, Interactivity andWeb 2.0 decentering of Humanities 2.0 user participation knowledge and authority Source: Davidson (2008)
Some examples: Digital Humanities Hastac.org Google Earth Historical Imagery Twitter
The Humanities are meant for “sharing”and are therefore suited to social media.4
Why do we use social media? For Likes For Hits For Comments To Relate To Go Viral To Participate To Represent Etc.
What makes ideas spread? Exposure. Attention. Motivation. Source: Zarella (2011)
Meme|mēm|A unit of cultural inheritance. Source: Zarella (2011)
Fe•cun•di•ty |feˈkəndətē|Refers to the number of offspring producedin each generation. Source: Zarella (2011)
Lon•gev•i•ty |lônˈjevətē|Refers to the lifespan of an individual. Source: Zarella (2011)
New media pose challenges that theHumanities have yet to fully consider.5
“The humanities...have the power toshape human community. Offering avision of that which is common tomankind, the humanities at their bestcapture the shared elements of human ”experience. Howard Bloch
The Internet as we know it is only in itsadolescence!
The challenge is that new media have thepotential to change us (and possibly, theHumanities, too). 6
“What we’re experiencing is, in ametaphorical sense, a reversal of theearly trajectory of civilization: We areevolving from cultivators of personalknowledge into hunters and gatherersin the electronic data forest.
“In the process, we seem fated tosacriﬁce much of what makes our ”minds so interesting. Nicholas Carr
A liberal education helps us understandhow to put new media to good use. 7
When in doubt about confronting newtechnologies, remember the words of Alan Simpson:
“If there is some ambiguity about theknowledge an educated man shouldhave, there is none at all about theskills. The ﬁrst is simply the training ofthe mind in the capacity to thinkclearly...
“The other basic skill is simply the art ofself-expression in speech and on paper.A man is uneducated who has notmastered the elements of clean andforcible prose and picked up somerelish for style.
“The standards which mark an educatedman can be expressed in terms of threetests.
“The ﬁrst is a matter of sophistication...An educated man can be judged by thequality of his prejudices.
“The second test is a matter of moralvalues...we do not really believe that acollege is doing its job when it is simplymultiplying the number of educatedscoundrels, hucksters, and triﬂers.
“Finally, there is the test imposed by theunique challenge of our own times. Weare not unique in suffering from moralconfusion – these crises are a familiarstory – but we are unique in thetremendous acceleration of the rate ofsocial change...
“An indispensable mark of the moderneducated man is the kind of versatile,ﬂexible mind that can deal with new and ”explosive conditions. Alan Simpson