Identity and politics
Unlike most other disciplines, the humanities and arts play a dual role. They not only increase knowledge about the world, but also shape national, social, and other identities. In this sense, the roots of Latvian language, culture, and research stretch back to the so-called national awakening and the related emergence of national identity. The rich constellation of sub-disciplines and research areas that has evolved since then is now undergoing an integrated transformation to meet the needs of the 21st century. Research in sub-disciplines like bioethics and technology-related psychology do not adhere to linguistic or national boundaries and will soon also question the definitions of humans as a species.
In many ways, the humanities and arts serve the interests of the wider society, for example by fostering critical thinking, promoting justice and democracy, and creating new points of contact between society and science in the Latvian language and culture. By developing a knowledge society, the humanities and arts make one of the greatest contributions to society’s long-term resilience to various threats.