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Humanities: “Culture, what else?”

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We humans are cultural beings, culture is everywhere. You might be used to think about culture in terms of ‘ways of living’: what and how we eat, the clothes we wear, the built environments we live in, languages and gestures. But culture is much more than that. Culture, for instance, gives us freedom. It allows us to be creative, and because of culture humans are self-conscious, reflecting beings. Culture moulds our identity: laughing and crying, imagining, believing and doubting, buying and selling, arguing and reasoning - these are all dimensions of culture.

But what then is culture? How exactly does it shape human life? How do media, technology and the arts, rituals and language, economics, politics, law and religion, philosophy and science, make us humans into what we are? To answer these questions, one must study all of these cultural forms, and how they relate. Therefore, at UCG, we focus on culture as a complex and multifaceted dynamical process, consisting of a set of interrelated cognitive, sociological, historical, and individual dimensions.

In our Humanities programme we develop an interdisciplinary, liberal arts and sciences perspective on the complexities of culture. Combining up-to-date theoretical, philosophical, historical, and critical approaches, we provide our Humanities-majors with an insight in the basic structure and dimensions of the cultural process. We teach them the methods they need to study culture: theoretical and conceptual analysis, quantitative and qualitative empirical methods, methods of interpretation. The programme dovetails with pre-master programmes in one of the three Humanities-faculties (Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Arts).

Moreover, students that opt for a major in the departments of Sciences or Social Sciences are challenged to reflect upon the added value of a Humanities-perspective in complex interdisciplinary contexts.

The world of culture is huge. The opportunities for a successful career are endless. Thus one of the former Ambassadors of the United States of America to the Netherlands was trained as an Art Historian, while another got a Bachelor degree in Russian Language and Literature. Most likely, Masters in the Humanities will make their career in Media, Journalism and Communication, in International Organisations, in Education, in Arts and Culture (policy, advice, or management), or in Humanities Research.

If you want to know which courses the Class of 2019 will follow in the line of the Humanities major, please check here. The coordinator for the Humanities Major is Prof. Dr. Barend van Heusden

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Last modified:06 August 2020 11.00 a.m.