Friday Feb 03, 2023

The Humanities Are Key to Understanding the War Between Russia and Ukraine

Our Summer Day

I recently did a virtual event on the Russian invasion of Ukraine organized by the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia. The event brought together experts to give a brief overview of the war situation and the gathering was attended by nearly 1,000 people. Questions from the audience covered topics such as the Ukrainian language, culture, history and international law. In their response, the experts helped to establish the background and context for what is happening in Eastern Europe. Recently Google searches such as “causes of the Russia-Ukraine war” and “Why is Russia attacking Ukraine?” is frequent.

Read: Ukraine & Russia Latest Updates

Since mid-February 2022, Google searches for this attack have increased significantly, matching the widespread desire to know more about current events (what is happening) and their environment (why it is happening). When Russia invaded the new Ukraine, the media found experts who could talk about the crisis. University and college media institutions have produced specialists in history, cultural studies, political science, and international relations – the humanities. In human education, education and education are important to help us understand the reasons for the war and what is happening now in Eastern Europe.

It is clear that institutions are eager to improve the expertise of their departments, but these requests reveal what most of us know: that many of these experts do not exist due to the decrease in student enrollment. According to Statistics Canada, enrollment has decreased by more than 6% between 2015 and 2020.

Humanities Inform the Situation in Ukraine

The humanities, the social sciences and the fine arts have long been considered as part of a liberal arts education and although the humanities can be difficult to define, one definition says that they “study ideas and culture”. Examples of humanities fields include philosophy, history, literary studies, languages, classics, and many others. Although there is no doubt that the Ukrainian crisis benefits from expertise in areas such as political science and economics, many journalists and public speakers have used their skills or discussed the topics related to humans.

News has even explained why we should say “Ukraine” and not “Ukraine”. The articles focus on the Ukrainian and Russian languages, the relationship between literature and national culture, the meaning of the ‘Z’ symbol and the role of misinformation.

Read: Russia Faces ‘Critical Shortage’ of Gunnery Shells, Says UK Defence Chief

Knowing historical events, their interpretations, complexities and cultural symbols can help anyone become and remain a global citizen. Historians like Heidi Tworek talk about the problem from a human perspective, helping people to understand and be able to contribute to this complex situation better. Through his work, he has pointed out how the words that are often used to describe the current time in Ukraine misunderstand history. Disputes like these provide an explanation.

Tworek argues that calling Russia’s attack on Ukraine the first outbreak of similar violence in Europe since World War II ignores the genocidal conflict that took place in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The curiosity, empathy, and critical thinking that people seek to encourage helps us understand what is happening now and how it relates to what happened before. By acknowledging that past actions and their importance are beyond the immeasurable data, we understand how many aspects of human life, such as language, nation, and cultural issues, are affected by events. who may appear to be merely political.

The Value of Learning Depends on the Person

Despite the application of knowledge acquired or developed in people, the study of these topics has become controversial – it has long been feared that humans are in “problem”.

Now, priority is given to education related to “work” or money. Provinces of Alberta recently implemented measures that link postsecondary education funding and graduate funding to employment rates and increase funding for certain provinces.

Marianne Kaiser

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