The birth of the humanities, in the form of Petrarch advocating the study of classics for inspirations to handle daily life problems, is a moment of looking back. By definition, the humanistic education is a learning experience lived in appreciating classical works and applying this universal knowledge top life in its many situations and manifestations. History has witnessed dramatic technological and scientific transformations in the last 150 years, resulting in a world situation and life conditions vastly different from any time in the past. In this fast-moving world situation, questions about the validity of backward looking humanities have been asked, and solutions to renew, rejuvenate and redefine humanities have been proposed. One of the resulting products is the fusion of the old and the new, such as the currently popular cultural products that feature the vampire. Existing as a spectacle of the historical, vampires today are hybridized with the latest in technology to make it more relevant to our world and our life. While recent popular movie and television series seem to attest to its continuing relevance to the 21st century world, does it mean that mechanization and computerization of the form is the only way to bring the historical up to date? This paper will examine some examples of the 21st century depictions and discussions of witches, another recurrent historical icon, to see what other ways of rejuvenating the historical humanities are practiced and to assess the success of such practices in maintaining the relevance of such subject areas as we look forward in the study of the humanities in our world.
|Keywords:||Theme: Critical Cultural Studies, Cyborg, Rejuvenate, Redefine, Renew, Witches|
Associate Professor, Humanities Programme, Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong