HLVA03448U Humanomics Contemporary theories of the human sciences

Volume 2014/2015
Litteraturvidenskab og MEF

The intention of this course is to approach the theory of science of the humanities in novel ways. Instead of studying traditional schools of thought, such as structuralism, Marxism, hermeneutics etc, we aim at covering the field thematically, giving students an overview of contemporary issues and problems in the practice and discussion of the humanities. The course is related to the current Velux Research Project "Humanomics: Mapping the Humanities" located at the Department of Culture and Arts. MA students will gain first-hand insight and access to the ongoing results and debates of this interdisciplinary project. The course begins by introducing classic ways of conceiving the humanities, then presents new methods and strategies of mapping and understanding knowledge production in the humanities (using e.g. large questionnaire-based surveys, social network analysis and bioliometric micro-data). Issues concerning the contemporary development of scholarship and education in the humanities will be introduced and discussed, including the use of data, methods and digital technologies in the humanities as well as new cultures of interdisciplinarity research and education that lies at the border between the human, social and natural sciences. A further bundle of issues to be explored in the course relates to the role of abstraction in the humanities, the confusing plethora of culture concepts in current human sciences, and the naturalization of propositions, etc.




Introduction: What are the humanities?

Research practices in the humanities

Mapping the humanities

Social studies of the humanities

Disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity

Borderlines to the natural and social sciences

Methods and data in the humanities

The ontologies of the humanities

Symbolic forms and human extensions

Abstraction in the humanities

Natural propositions

Concepts of culture

Digital humanities

Wrap-up and further perspectives


A detailed list of core and required readings will be provided at the start of the course.


Learning Outcome

Learning Outcome

The aim of the course is to enable the student to:


  • Describe the current status, theories and conceptions of the humanities.

  • Understand the scientific methods, data and practices of the humanities.

  • Present central theoretical and policy perspectives of interdisciplinarity

  • Understand the role of humanities scholarship and education in society and the economy.

  • Understand the modes of knowledge production and different epistemic cultures within the humanities.

  • Understand the contemporary and historical perspectives on the humanities and their mode of knowledge production.

  • Understand and reflect upon the student’s own competences and knowledge practice in a societal context.



BA level in any given subject field of the humanities – understood broadly as covering also psychology, anthropology or ethnography or similar competences and an interest in reflections on the theory of the human sciences.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 33
  • Total
  • 33
Type of assessment
Kurset udbydes som tværfagligt kursus mellem IKK (Litteraturvidenskab) og MEF.

MEF/Filosofistuderende kan aflægge eksamen som Frit emne 1 under Filosofis KA-ordning.