At the beginning of this year, our Humanities program went on a retreat to Black Mountain to lay the foundation for our learning in the Humanities. During this time we learned about the Enlightenment. We’ve also had a few lectures of the Enlightenment through out the year. However, I would argue that the Davidson Humanities program needs more time dedicated to learning about the Enlightenment and other Western ideas. Almost like a taste of the old humes class at the start of the new humes class.
This is how radical inclusion could benefit not only Davidson’s Humanities program, but the Humanities in general. We’ve spent a lot of time this year learning how to reject the ideals of the West. How to open our horizons, to learn about all of the history of all of human experience, not just the experiences of old white men. I believe incorporating radical inclusion into this understanding of the Humanities would make the Humanities program much stronger. Before we learn to critique the West, we should first learn what the West actually thinks, from an unbiased point of view.
The Humanities should encompass all parts of humanity, even the traditional parts of the Humanities. Forming a section of scholarship that can accommodate for the complexity and the harmfulness within human nature opens up the potential for more communication between the differing generations within the Humanities. There is a divide between Humanities scholars over how wide the Humanities should cast its net. Is the Humanities really supposed to be a space for ever possible human creation? Should we just stick to tradition, study the Enlightenment and not expand beyond Classical and Western authors and thinkers?
Radical inclusion within the Humanities includes Western authors and traditional philosophers, but also includes non-Western authors, who for so long have not been given their rightful place within Humanities scholarship. The Humanities involves understanding as much as we can about human nature, and using our knowledge from a diverse set of texts and other creations to engage with and critique human ideas from the past and the present.