When Aristotle and Plato first began compiling the encyclopedic knowledge that they referred to as Humanitas, they could not conceive of the wide array of fields that make up our modern concept of the humanities.  With subjects ranging from Art History to Women’s Studies, the diversity of the humanities allows people with myriad interests to come together under a single intellectual banner.  The multifarious nature of the humanities, however, makes it notoriously difficult to define.  Chances are, no two academic institutions have identical concepts of exactly what makes up the humanities, but most agree that as an academic discipline, the humanities are first and foremost concerned with understanding human culture and experience.  The humanities provide a framework for exploring what it means to be human; they act as both a mirror and an interpretation for everything that man believes, celebrates, and experiences.  The humanities are at the center of all learning and illustrate the curiosity we have about ourselves.  When we ask who we are and what our lives are supposed to mean; when we seek to use the intellectual products of man to change, elevate, and improve life; and when we process, debate, and discuss the human experience, we are using the humanities.  In short, as a vast field of study, the humanities work against the “unexamined life” as described by Socrates as life not worth living.

Our Goals

More than anything else, the humanities rely on dialogue if they are to be of any use to our culture at large.  At the most basic level, the humanities consist of stories that help us make connections and promote understanding through informed public discourse.  While assessment-driven practices in most secondary schools have demoted the importance of the humanities, Dialogue Humanities Review seeks to reverse this process by giving middle and high school students a platform to display their passion for literature, history, philosophy, and other humanities-based disciplines.  Additionally, most academic papers authored by middle and high school students are written in a vacuum, where the only audience is the instructor and the only purpose is to receive a grade.  Dialogue Humanities Review provides students with an authentic, participatory audience that not only shares students’ enthusiasm for the humanities, but also celebrates academic excellence.

Publication Process

Dialogue Humanities Review is an online, biannual journal that publishes high quality, humanities-focused essays written by middle and high school students.  Essays will be reviewed by a panel of experts in various humanities-based fields and will be chosen based on the strength of the writing, the author’s familiarity with his or her chosen topic, and the appropriateness of the essay’s content.  Dialogue Humanities Review aims to include academic essays from a wide variety of fields, including but not limited to: African-American Studies; American Studies; Anthropology; Archaeology; Art Criticism, History, and Theory; Classics; Ethics; Ethnic Studies; Folklore; Geography; History; History and Ethics of Science; International Studies; Jurisprudence; Languages and Linguistics; Literature; Music History and Criticism; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Religion and Comparative Religion; Sociology; Social Sciences; Theatre History and Criticism; and Women’s Studies.  If selected, authors will be asked to revise their essays to ready it for publication.

Please contact Jessica Rafferty at dialoguehumanities@davidsonacademy.unr.edu for more information.