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A New History of the HumanitiesThe Search for Principles and Patterns from Antiquity to the Present$
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Rens Bod

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665211

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665211.001.0001

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Modern Era: The Humanities Renewed

Modern Era: The Humanities Renewed

(p.250) 5 Modern Era: The Humanities Renewed
A New History of the Humanities

Rens Bod

Oxford University Press

In the nineteenth century the humanities undergo some dramatic changes. From classical disciplines they are transformed into national ones that focus on the study of national literature, national art, national music, national language, and the national past. Due to colonialism the European view is imposed in many parts in the world. It takes till the end of the twentieth century before the humanities liberate themselves, to some extent, from nationalist and colonialist views. Methodologically, the nineteenth-century European humanities are under strong influence of Herderian, Hegelian, Comtean, and Darwinistic ideas, but in the early twentieth century the methods move towards a more stylistic and descriptive approach. Most disciplines develop both a ‘pattern-seeking’ and a ‘pattern-rejecting’ direction. The humanities become increasingly interdisciplinary but also hybrid: approaches from the social and even the natural sciences are combined to analyze and interpret the expressions of the human mind.

Keywords:   nationalism, colonialism, pattern-searching versus pattern-rejecting, break versus continuity, digital and cognitive approaches

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