“Why do I have to study Impressionism? Or the Industrial Revolution? Or Shakespeare’s sonnets?” STEM students focused on robotics, engineering, technology and computer science may be asking themselves those very questions as they sit in a lecture hall for a Humanities class. Colleges are full of engineering students who may not immediately see the value in studying literature, art, the classics, philosophy or religion.

But Sophia Gilbert in a recent article in The Atlantic contends that such studies are important to keep us human in a tech-driven, fast-paced world. A quote from the article, attributed to cultural critic Leon Wieseltier, summed up the sentiment well. “What the humanities teach, what literature and art and music and philosophy and history teach, is that the correct description and analysis of human life is not a scientific affair.”

The article advocated for the slow and methodical study of subjects that celebrate our humanity, to counterbalance the general population’s obsession with instant gratification – granted by such entities as the lightning-speed technology behind a Google search.

You can learn more about the subjects covered in Humanities studies in Humanities Source Ultimate, a new full-text database from EBSCO.