What are the humanities?

"The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life."

National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, 1965, as amended


About the National Endowment for the Humanities 

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency. It supports projects that:

  • Preserve America’s cultural legacy and provide access to historically significant materials and artifacts in museums, libraries and historical organizations;
  • Engage the public in lifelong learning programs;
  • Improve education and strengthen the professional development of America’s teachers;
  • Strengthen cultural and educational institutions through matching and challenge grants; and
  • Employ cutting-edge technology to enhance research and provide free, public access to the humanities.

For more information, please go to www.neh.gov.