Skip to content

Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 25 January 2021)

printicon

Focal Points of Humanities Today

Research project The project, centered around the cultural multiplicity and its relevance to humanistic competency from both structural and historical perspective, will include humanities at Umeå University as well as at ELTE University, Budapest.

The project, centered around the cultural multiplicity and its relevance to humanist competency from both structural and historical perspective, will include humanities at Umeå University as well as at ELTE University, Budapest. The project’s aim is to investigate humanist competence as a possibility of opening new fields of cultural research. Such research emanates from the essential subjects of humanities. Philosophy, art and religion shape their surroundings while letting the surroundings shape their own activity in the hope of a more humane society

Project overview

Project period:

2006-01-01 2010-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Culture and Media Studies

Project description

The project is centered around the cultural multiplicity and its relevance to humanist competency. Thus the project will include humanities at Umeå University as well as humanist subjects at ELTE University, Budapest, Hungary. The project aims at creating a conception on humanist competence which would clearly indicate the essential subjects within humanities from both structural and historical perspective.
According to this perspective the project views art, religion and philosophy as subjects which include potential to critical thinking in cultural plurality. Common element for these subjects is their striving for research and knowledge as intrinsic qualities within the respective fields, rather than an instrumental technique in exploring these.
Thus these subjects are creative in a way that they have to create or choose their fields of research, which makes them active parts in the process of creating culture, where the describing level cannot be distinguished from the described, placing the activity of knowledge on the value level rather than on a purely descriptive level.
This means that the competence explored by the project is foremost a critical competence, which deconstructs general, social structures often experienced as another nature. The dialectical form of this competence also includes a reconstructive strive to reconstruct the deconstructed in an endless dialectical movement. The process of creating culture will not reach a final point as a goal, neither is there any distinguishable advance, except for the hope of a more humane society.
Among other theories the project is inspired by Paul Feyerabend’s late distinction between guided and open exchange. In ”guided exchange” there is an idea of universal, general rules and standards forming the material they are applied upon. The goal will appear reasonable in accordance with these rules and standards. In an ”open exchange” there is a higher degree of selfconsciousness about the material’s ability of shaping the rules and standards as well as the material itself. In such a view there is possibility for change of both individuals and cultures into a more free and open direction. While a given goal is lacking, there is always a possibility to formulate part-time goals and new fields of culture creating research emanating from the essential subjects of humanities, subjects which shape their surroundings simultaneously with letting the surroundings to shape their own activities.