Dear Humanities Students,
If you missed class on Friday, August 31st, we completed the following:
1. Students submitted their Disclosure Documents.
2. Students submitted their "What are the Humanities? Why are the humanities important?" assignment.
3. We discussed their responses to the above questions, and then I gave the "official" definition for "What are the Humanities? The Humanities is the study of what affects mankind. These disciplines include music, art, religion, philosophy, drama, and literature. We also discussed the five reasons why one should study the Humanities:
1. One develops a greater ability to think critically through studying Humanities. Often criticism is considered negative, but there is also a positive side to critical skills. It includes the ability to choose good from evil, excellent from poor, and profound from superficial.
2. Another reason for studying the Humanities all human beings gain pleasure from the arts. We rejoice in the creative expressions of others. We enjoy a story well told, beautiful melodies, and pleasing sculptures.
3. Studying the Humanities gives one the ability to share knowledge with future generations. Many challenging ideas have been explored during the history of this world, that we would be impoverished if we had no knowledge of them. Sharing our understanding of the Humanities guides not only ourselves, but those we choose to enlighten.
4. Studying the Humanities guides us in understanding how past generations have dealt with human challenges, emotions, and ideas.
5. Another reason for studying the Humanities is to gain vision and experience emotion to the point that we have a greater appreciation for the artists' intent. We must see beyond the simple story, the decorative painting, the pleasing melody or the entertaining drama, and to understand what the artist is trying to say about life.
1. Please read "What are the Arts," included below, and include 4-8 annotations on each page. Copy this to a Word document and then print it off. Please place it in the "Handout" section of your notebook.
There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists. One must understand that the word “art” may mean different things in different times and places. No wrong reason exists for liking a piece of art. Someone may like a landscape painting because it reminds him of home, or a portrait because it reminds him of a friend. There is nothing wrong with that. All of us, when we see a painting are bound to be reminded of a hundred-and-one things which influence our likes and dislikes. As long as these memories help us to enjoy what we see, we need not worry. It is only when some irrelevant memory makes us prejudice, when we instinctively turn away from a magnificent picture of an alpine scene because we dislike climbing, that we search our minds for the reason for the aversion which spoils a pleasure we might otherwise have had. In fact, the beauty of a picture does not really lie in the beauty of its subject matter.