The definition of humanities orbits around the human experience. It means to understand or see the human in ourselves or one another. The world today does not embody humanity or we would have no man-caused problems like war and climate change. If we stop seeing the human in another, we see them as the “other” or as an emotion-less animal we can do anything to.
As said in We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families By Philip Gourevitch on page 9:
“all humanity one against nature”
“But humanity is part of nature, too”
“Exactly,” the pygmy said. “That is exactly the problem.”
In an academic setting, humanities mean to see and hear everyone. The Humanities course of this year does not fully fall into this definition. We have moved slightly away from the Western Tradition, but we have struggled to make the full transition. Giving more space to white men from Europe is the antithesis of humanities so it would be impossible to call the course Humanities with confidence. As well, we fail to combat the system of today of blocking out humanity. In order to change the world, we must first change how we look at the world. For the first year of college, when we become adults, the Humanities course must live up to the dream of humanities and give equal space to the voices who have been erased and blocked out for so long.
Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. New York: Picador, 1998.