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Advocating on Behalf of the Humanities

Judah Siekkinen is a graduating MA scholar in REL, who earned his BA from Youngstown State College (in Spiritual Research & Geography).

On March 15, 2022, I had the privilege to advocate for federal funding for the Humanities on behalf of the state of Alabama. The occasion was organized by the National Humanities Alliance (NHA). The NHA works to fund numerous Humanities organizations, most notably the Nationwide Endowment of the Humanities (NEH). I advocated alongside a colleague from Samford College who simply occurred to work of their religion department.

All through the day we had 5 conferences with legislative assistants who labored with Alabama representatives and senators. Of those 5, 4 labored for Republican representatives. Throughout our conferences we confirmed off the NEH’s web site which highlighted particular applications in Alabama. We tried to hyperlink these applications to the representatives’ pursuits in hopes they’d see their worth.

Of the various issues that occurred in these conferences {that a} crucial scholar of faith might discover fascinating (though not completely stunning), a specific interplay stood out to me in regards to the place that ‘non secular research’ had throughout the ‘Humanities’. We met with one legislative assistant who occurred to be an alumna of Samford and who graduated with a MA in political science. After our pitch concerning the significance of the humanities we ask if they’ve any questions. The individual did, which was a bit unusual. They requested: “Is ‘non secular research’ usually part of the humanities or is it a social science?”

I don’t precisely bear in mind what I mentioned, however I recall pondering that I needed to body this in a manner that might a) be comprehensible, b) be a satisfying reply and, c) not estrange my colleague. So I started by stating that ‘it relies on who you ask’, which is a little bit of a cop-out however gave me a while to kind my reply. From there I talked about how the Humanities are sometimes located inside Liberal Arts or Social Sciences and but at different instances ‘the Humanities’ operate as a bigger umbrella beneath which the Social Sciences may additionally fall. After this my colleague added “Sure, it is part of the humanities.”

The strategic figuring out of the classes we use to find ‘non secular research’ has actual world ramifications — partly, the longer term careers of younger non secular research students. So I feel it can be crucial for us to contemplate who advantages from this positioning and who’s in danger.

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