Humanities Today section: concluding thoughts

Today my blog celebrates 6 months (Happy Birthday to us 🙂 ). This Monday marks also something else, the temporary closure of the Humanities Today Guest posts (I am waiting for one more contribution, but it is going to come a little later). I have truly enjoyed reading and hosting them for the past 8 weeks. Ranging from  Archaeology to Biblical Studies, Philosophy to History, the contributions can be summed up as tackling 4 major points:

1. Why is it that we are doing this? What are the terms in which “relevance” should be framed (or the time-span this covers as a matter of fact) ?
2. What are we doing wrong?
3. What is the place of methodology in the Humanities? Are we really using appropriate/specific intellectual tools?
4. How does the research tradition shape/enforce our current understanding?

Of course there are a number of “hot” issues which have not been tackled; just to name a few:

-the implications of the pressure to publish in certain publications, such as the ISI Journals (or the ones alike) (from having to publish in an International language and not in national ones, to the politics of citation and the “neo-colonialism” in disguise);
-the definition/perception of what “scientific” means when it comes to more theoretical approaches versus the practice-based ones (I can tell from my own experience that I had colleagues in my MSc who told me that I was “buying my way out easy” by doing a theoretical paper and not one involving a hands-on anthropological analysis);
-the status of inter-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary works (even though it is a highly acclaimed characteristic, in practice, again speaking from my own experience, there are not many people within the academia who really embrace such a research easily: e.g. for Philosophers it can be too archaeological, for Sociologists too philosophical, and for Archaeologists too non-archaeological).

All in all, I hope these posts have sparked some ideas and questions and I am really looking forward to getting any new opinions on the matter. Until then, I hope the blog will keep up with interesting and thought-provoking new posts 🙂


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