Jim Noles at the Huffington Post:
For what it is worth, I will share my own definition with you. The humanities are those fields of study that explain and celebrate what it means to be human and, in doing so, enrich and enhance our lives. Think of the fields of literature, history, the classics, jurisprudence, theatre and art history, film studies, languages, philosophy, and ethics, to name a few.
If I am correct in this regard, then the humanities are more than simply a field of study that requires definition. Rather, the humanities are as much a catalyst as a conclusion, as much an impetus as an accomplishment, and as much a means as an end.
The challenge we now seem to face, therefore, is appraising the value of such things in raw dollars and cents. And in that particular endeavor, I wish us all the best. The stakes might be higher than we think.