The humanities matter


I am majoring in history and I constantly get asked, “So, like, what’re you going to do with that?” My degree has been rendered to that. That passion of mine that consists of hours upon hours of research, writing and analysis. But it doesn’t matter. A humanities degree is deemed silly since it isn’t suited for this society of technical rationality.

While majoring in business, criminal justice, finance and communication does rest upon a foundation of practicality, I have still been given myriad skills that will aid me in any endeavor.

Even still, regardless of how much time or effort I put in, my studies will always be relegated below any other because they do not immediately pigeonhole me into a career. I study history because I believe it shows the most important parts of humanity; I want to think critically about where we were and where we are now. I don’t want to be shoved into one field for the rest of my life.

We don’t stay alive for the sake of embracing calculus or television broadcasting, but we do stay alive for the beauty that is art, philosophy and literature. There is a reason the humanities are called that–they scrutinize the human experience. When I study history, I don’t memorize a collection of politicians or dates, but I do explore the joys and sorrows of humanity. In such a divisive society where we seek comfort in machinery and conformity, we need to understand the complexity of our existence.

Universities are now cutting and defunding their humanities programs. The fields that once provided a well-rounded perspective are being cut for the sake of pushing along late-stage capitalism. You can continue to study your technical degrees, but do not automatically consider mine worthless in comparison to yours simply because it does not fit into your expectation that I must obtain an education solely for a 9-to-5 and 401k.