What are the humanities?

According to the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act of 1965 (as amended), the term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, “the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”

The humanities enrich all disciplines and deepen our understanding of others, of the world around us, and our important unique role in a civil, humanistic society.

Why is HumanitiesDC important?

As the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities for the District of Columbia, HumanitiesDC is a 501c3 nonprofit (like all other state humanities councils). We serve a city rich with important hyperlocal histories in each of our neighborhoods, a unique local culture, and undeniable national and international presences – attracting newcomers and visitors to our diverse, inclusive city. Each of us has a unique experience of the District of Columbia and a unique story. Through the public humanities, HumanitiesDC ensures equity in the preservation of our memories and story telling – encouraging civil understanding in our city’s rich tapestry of culture and history.

We need the humanities – and each other – more than ever.

Special thanks to our friends at Double R Productions for putting together another great video and for your support over the years!