Skip to comments.College: The Future of the Humanities
Posted on 06/14/2013 8:27:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
On June 6, Harvard University released a long-awaited report on the state of the humanities. A central part of the report, "Mapping the Future," is a study of the "trends" in humanities education and "stakes" for faculty, students, and society in general.
What with plummeting enrollments and declining interest in the humanities, those who do not reside within the halls of academe might suppose that the Harvard report would focus on the real problems: the increased radicalization of the humanities; the splintering of the humanities into discrete disciplines such as women's studies, men's studies, gay studies, Latino studies, and the like; and the antagonism of many academics toward the capitalist society that supports them.
One would expect some discussion of the jargon-ridden triviality of so much "research" in the humanities -- in other words, an acknowledgement that the problem lies with the professors themselves, and not with a tight job market or mere "perceptions" of leftism on the part of the public.
That's what one might expect, but it's not what one gets. The humanities, we are told, are "more relevant than ever." As one contributor to the report put it, "[w]e don't have a crisis here. We have a tremendous opportunity."
In a revealing phrase, those who question the value of the humanities as now taught are said to present "hostile arguments." In reality, those "hostile" arguments might be just what the academic humanists need to save their profession. But that's not the way the report sees it. It sees these "hostile arguments" as having less to do with the behavior of academic humanists and more to do with a lack of imagination on the part of the public. In other words, ordinary folks are just not as smart as Harvard faculty, so what right have they to judge?
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
It absolutely is, as the author says, the radicalization that is the problem.
If you look at the English literature curriculum at any “top” university the number of “feminist theory” or “queer” offerings usually dwarfs those attempting a serious study of literary history and forms.
And of course the problem is worse in the graduate schools, and the only people they admit are those with an interest in the feminist and gay studies approaches. A regular white male with a desire for a PhD studying Chaucer, is not likely to get into grad school, and is still more unlikely to get a job afterward.
Does an Ivy League diploma mean that one is gullible and lacking in common sense?
It’s much easier to contemplate the great questions when you aren’t starving and sleeping on the street.
What do degrees in these "disciplines" prepare one for, other than to be a professor in these courses?
Would you like fries with that?
“Does an Ivy League diploma mean that one is gullible and lacking in common sense?”
No, it means you’re joining the ruling class, and a decision to turn it down has to be carefully thought through.