Tag Archives: Humanities

Why doing Humanities is doing science

Why doing Humanities is doing science

It is increasingly common in this society or, at least, in this country, to divide the intellectuals – and their students – into two great branches of knowledge: letters and sciences, as if the former were not scientific and the latter not they would have a certain domain of humanistic knowledge that has led us […] … learn more→

How do we define student success in the Humanities?

How do we define student success in the Humanities?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “student success.” I like the way it pushes us to define our terms and ask questions about metrics: What does student success look like? How do you know that what you’re doing will make your students successful? How do you measure whether they are successful? We do […] … learn more→

To save the Humanities, change the narrative

In the classic children’s story Chicken Little, the main character feels an acorn drop on her head and infers from this that the sky is falling. She announces the sky’s imminent collapse to all the animals she encounters. Soon Chicken Little and her friends get an invitation into a fox’s den to escape the danger. […] … learn more→

Restructure the Humanities Ph.D.

The Modern Language Association’s report on doctoral study in language and literature, released last month, does well to avoid framing the question of the humanities Ph.D. in terms of a \”crisis in the humanities.\” Instead, it focuses our attention where it belongs—on the underlying institutional structures that inhibit the evolution of the humanities Ph.D. The […] … learn more→

The other public Humanities

Among the conclusions frequently drawn about the heavily reported \”crisis in the humanities\” is that humanities departments are woefully out of touch—with today\’s students, with the new economy, with the public at large. The argument is a familiar one. In response to a similar climate of hostility in the late 1980s and early 90s, the […] … learn more→

The highly useful crisis in the Humanities

The cartoon cover of a 1935 issue of The Princeton Tiger humor magazine showed Depression-era graduates lined up at commencement to be handed a loaf of bread with every liberal-arts diploma. A few months later, the university\’s alumni magazine reported on students\’ shifting academic interests in a table titled, \”Trend Away From the Humanities.\” Majors […] … learn more→

The Humanities: What went right?

There’s no denying it. The humanities have been through a crisis, a period in which, according to the Humanities Resource Center Online of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, degrees went from 17.7 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to 6.7 percent. The absolute number of degrees awarded in the humanities declined, from 99,280 […] … learn more→

The Humanities, declining? Not according to the numbers.

In recent years, enrollments in the humanities have plummeted. The evidence is everywhere: Last month, in The New York Times, Verlyn Klinkenborg noted \”the recent shift away from the humanities\” in an essay titled \”The Decline and Fall of the English Major.\” In his 2009 American Scholar essay, \”The Decline of the English Department,\” William […] … learn more→

Digital Humanities as cognitive dissidence

It\’s hard to believe but it was a year ago that the Primer Encuentro de Humanistas Digitales (First Meeting of Digital Humanists) was held in the Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City (17 and May 18, 2012). I participated remotely via a poster / flyer and a website entitled \”HD/DC\”, which I set up to provide […] … learn more→

Humanities, not Harvard

In \”Howl,\” a blistering poetical rant and perhaps the most important poem of the 60’s counterculture, Allen Ginsberg anatomizes the minds of his generation. They are young men and women who \”studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas.\” When students […] … learn more→