The Humanities are not simply the antithesis to STEM. Like many things in life, their perception in media completely disregards the complex nuances that define it.
The Humanities is a collection of disciplines and subjects that use academic tools and lenses to examine and understand the human experience. It allows and promotes the interdisciplinary approach between STEM and non-STEM subjects and aims to eliminate the discrimination associated with the divide.
Defining the humanities proved to be more difficult than I expected. I knew it academically to be generally the “non-STEM” subjects- literature and history, the arts and the sort. With this, of course, comes a very dichotomous interpretation of what academia is as a whole:
STEM teaches “hard” skills, the Humanities teach “soft” skills.
STEM is masculine, the Humanities feminine.
STEM is a predominately white and exclusionary field, while the Humanities serve as a haven for the minorities.
STEM is for those who have power, the Humanities are for those desperately seeking it out.
This past year in the Humanities program caused me to rethink that. A particular moment that sticks out is in Unit 2 where we read Thomas Kuhn’s The Copernican Revolution and discussed the role of conceptual schemes in the retrieval of knowledge and how we interpret the world around us.
It felt like such a scientific way to look at these “non-STEM” subjects yet I was able to produce my favorite essay of the entire year by relating the work of Copernicus to Childish Gambino.