In higher education, the humanities refer to inquiry into the human condition (i.e., what it means to be human, human survival and thriving, and pasts and futures of human life) and a group of academic disciplines that take up such inquiry. Because the humanities constitute both an approach to knowledge and fields of study in higher education, the state of the humanities in the 21st century is an important consideration for the vitality of higher education generally. This entry expands on the definition, history, and qualities of the humanities; addresses various crises in the humanities; and describes three emerging concepts within the field: digital humanities, post-humanities, and public humanities.


Although humanistic inquiry transcends academic fields, the humanities are themselves often addressed as a collection of academic ...

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