So which humanities major makes the most after college?

Among people who graduate with humanities and liberal arts degrees, history majors fare best, with median wages of $54,000 annually. Theology majors rank lowest, at just $43,000 a year. Philosophers take in $51,000 annually, as do area specialists like Latin American studies majors (although it should be noted their degrees are typically multidisciplinary, and thus tend to include social science courses). Going to grad school changes things though.

1) never apologize for your own breath
2) your life has no more value than that of a dandelion
3) be forever grateful
4) free your soul
5) know your power
6) feed yourself nothing other than yummy food, warmth and love
7) believe that you are the most beautiful flower to ever grow
8) laugh honestly
9) live soft
10) love hard
—  my decalogue
The Neverending Struggle
  • Me in a science class:That's cool.
  • ...this is the predominant theory? Is there an alternative theory? How did they arrive at that theory? Were there any dead ends on their road to discovery? Could you write a story about this? Would this make a nice painting? Does this have any philosophical implications? Could you use this in a different field? Now you're just using fancy formulas to sound smart, aren't you? I could write a song about this! This book needs more pictures. Could you prove this with anything other than maths? Are there different types of logic? Could aliens deduce this differently? Yeah, you've proven it, but could you go deeper? I mean, what does this really mean? Yeah, but what if ...
  • ...argh, this needs more culture and sophistication! There aren't enough violins and globes and profound existential questions and stuff!
  • Me in a humanities class:That's cool.
  • you have ten theories about how to define a word? Ten scholars have written about this metaphysical theory we aren't completely sure is even its own field? Okay, now you're just making stuff up. Could you actually prove this? Isn't this just conjecture? This book needs more logic. This theory needs some solid ground to stand on. Could you prove this with maths? Now you're just using fancy words to sound smart, aren't you? How many books can you write about this book? Didn't you just say this was an outdated idea? Why are you going deeper when you haven't even proven it yet? How many different phrases with slightly different meanings are you going to use? I mean, what does this really mean? Yeah, but what if...
  • ...argh, this needs more precision and logic! There aren't enough proofs and experiments and profound universal questions and stuff!
Over the past 100 years, tens of thousands of academic books have been published in the humanities, including many remarkable works on history, literature, philosophy, art, music, law, and the history and philosophy of science. But the majority of these books are currently out of print and largely out of reach for teachers, students, and the public. The Humanities Open Book pilot grant program aims to “unlock” these books by republishing them as high-quality electronic books that anyone in the world can download and read on computers, tablets, or mobile phones at no charge. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are the two largest funders of humanities research in the United States. Working together, NEH and Mellon will give grants to publishers to identify great humanities books, secure all appropriate rights, and make them available for free, forever, under a Creative Commons license.
  • “The minute you enter grad school, you’re a professional. Grad school is not college, or at least not college as I experienced it, i.e., a special personal journey of exploration and wonder and alcohol. You’re at grad school to be professionalized into academia, and your behavior is expected to reflect that.
  • Your fellow grad students are your colleagues, not (necessarily) your friends. You’ll make good friends, of course you will, but relationships with most other grad students will be more like coworkers than buddies. So if they don’t come to your party, say, or don’t want to hang out after class, don’t be offended. That’s just not what it’s about for a lot of people.
  • You are supposed to go to all the departmental lectures, screenings, colloquia, etc. This stuff is not a fun extracurricular activity that you can hit or miss depending on your interests. Your attendance is expected and your absence is noticed. It’s part of being a good colleague.
  • Pick your classes according to the following criteria, in descending order of importance: 1) The professor is someone you want to know and might want to work with; 2) your seminar paper might come in handy for your oral exams or dissertation research; 3) you’re interested in the topic.”

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To adapt to a changing world, we need new software for our cellphones; we also need new ideas. The same goes for literature, for architecture, languages and theology. Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but, by themselves, they are just slabs. It is the music, essays, entertainment and provocations that they access, spawned by the humanities, that animate them — and us. So, yes, the humanities are still relevant in the 21st century — every bit as relevant as an iPhone.

anonymous asked:

I think the STEM fascination thingy really relates to the fact that people in society are still fucking ableist and value things they think are "methodical" and "logical" and "rational" over what they think are "intuitive" and "emotional". There is still this really annoying belief that math, physics and chemistry are the "hard" subjects that require a lot of "mental capacity" when the reality is that these subjects can be as intuitive and emotional and require as much feeling as any art subject

yeah definitely

personally I love math and humanities but i experience all of these subjects in really similar ways. i understand calculus on a very metaphysical level and it’s weird to me when people think that they are less intuitive and more inherently difficult than the humanities.

it’s really all about the individual subject and beyond that, a combination of how it’s presented to you and how the person in question interprets information


In “human subject research,” what is “research,” and what is “a human subject?”

Is any research “research”? No. Not in “human subject research,” as it is used in ethical guidelines and informed consent procedures central to the biomedical and social sciences. These terms have very specific meanings that do not comprise all we might think of as “research” or “humans,” so it can be confusing. 

The University of California (Irvine) website explains it as follows, in keeping with US federal government guidelines. “Research” is:

a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

A “systematic investigation” is an activity that involves a prospective plan that incorporates data collection, either quantitative or qualitative, and data analysis to answer a question.

-Examples of systematic investigations include:
-surveys and questionnaires
-interviews and focus groups
-analyses of existing data or biological specimens
-epidemiological studies
-evaluations of social or educational programs
-cognitive and perceptual experiments
-medical chart review studies

That’s “research.” What about a “human subject,” then? A human being you interact with in the course of any academic activity to learn something from them? No. 

A human subject is as a living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual; or (2) identifiable private information.

Does humanities research constitute “human subject research?” Very rarely. Why? It is not collecting data to make generalizable or predictive conclusions. 

But what about when you interact with an individual or individuals to find our their opinions about something?  

Let’s turn to NYU, which posts some helpful guidelines:

When are Humanities or Oral History projects considered to be human subjects research requiring IRB review? 
If the proposed project will involve collecting identifiable information about a livingindividual AND will be used to reach conclusions, inform policy or generalize findings, then the project must be submitted to the IRB for review. 

The following examples are projects which would not require IRB review
• The goals of the project are to document a specific issue or event or the experiences of individuals and will not be used for further analysis for commonalities predictive of future instances. 

• The project will compare and contrast policies, procedures or events to identify general commonalities or inform policy decisions without collection of information about identified individuals.

What about classroom activities? NO (unless you are conducting biomedical experiments in your class, in which case, yes)

What about chatting with actual human beings who have feelings? NO, unless “chatting” is part of your data collection methodology for research as defined above.

What about finding out about what happened during a historical event or period in which actual human subjects were involved, and you find out by interacting with them? NO, unless your questions and procedures fall under the definition of “research” above.

What about telling an individual your opinions? NO, but it’s a good idea to be polite and consider if they want your opinions. If it turns out they don’t, consider not offering your opinions to those people. You could ask, but on the other hand, if someone has said or done something you find dangerous or offensive, you might offer your opinion anyway. Is that research? NO

Are researchers allowed to interact with other humans informally outside of project guidelines, even in ways that might contribute to their overall understanding of a topic? YES, but such information or knowledge gained informally cannot contribute to data collection or the publication of “research” as defined in “human subject research" above.

Do humanities scholars use "data”? NOT USUALLY, NOT TRADITIONALLY but this is changing with the rise of “digital humanities,” and methodologies, fields, and definitions are shifting and being debated.

How does internet research affect these guidelines and procedures? NO ONE KNOWS, we are in a huge seismic redefinition of the key terms public/private, data, text, and human. 

Are there specific guidelines for internet research? NO There are people working on this, but no, there are no official government-sponsored guidelines anywhere, as of 2012. Basically, the most current guidance documents tend to say, and I paraphrase, “Holy Hell is this complicated. Chances are really good you’re going to mess up. Do your best, think really carefully, and try not to hurt people, but honestly, none of us really know what’s going on with online lives." 

My department says all my projects need to go through review. Then they do. If you need to go through review or exemption and you blow it off, you won’t be able to use your research data. 

Free Human Rights Curriculum

HS teachers, check this out! The Choices Program is offering its Human Rights curriculum unit for free. Includes seven lesson plans and teaches critical thinking, textual analysis and multiple viewpoints.