THE Faculty of Arts at the University of Zululand recently hosted the 6th annual Humanities Conference under the theme: “Future of Humanities and Social Sciences”. The conference focused on academic disciplines which seek to understand and interpret the human experience, from individuals to entire cultures.
Among things discussed by one of the guest speakers, Prof Johannes Britz, was the discovery, preservation, and communication of the past and present records to teach and enable a broader understanding of contemporary society and its history. Prof Britz is provost and vice-chancellor academic at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, USA “The humanities help us understand others through their languages, histories and cultures.
They foster social justice and equality. And they reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world,” he said.
Prof Britz further said that the humanities teach empathy and teach people to deal critically and logically with subjective, complex, imperfect information. He said Humanities students are capable in various ways.
The humanities encourage people to think creatively and be innovative. Humanities help people to reason about being human and to ask questions about their world. “The humanities develop informed and critical citizens. Without the humanities, democracy could not flourish,” said Prof Britz.
Professor Dennis Ocholla, the deputy dean at the faculty, thanked members of the organising committee, the speakers and all the staff who worked to ensure that the conference was a “memorable” event.
“We had many excellent papers and remarkable participants without whom this conference would not have been successful,” he said.