Did you read the recent piece online at The Atlantic? Building on an earlier online piece from The Chronicle of Higher Education (and using its graphs, like me) it makes the point that, when judged by the percentage of all degrees earned, the anomaly in the Humanities isn’t now but a few decades ago, when the influx of baby boomer freshmen found college majors. The drop that followed their departure is therefore better understood as a normalization.
What is the relevance of the Humanities…? This paragraph ends (quoting Jane Wellman) with one interesting answer to that often-asked question.
From Jeffrey Selingo’s College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students (2013, p. 29).
What do you think the Humanities are?
As we strive to create a more civil public discourse, a more adaptable and creative workforce, and a more secure nation, the humanities and social sciences are the heart of the matter, the keeper of the republic—a source of national memory and civic vigor, cultural understanding and communication, individual fulfillment and the ideals we hold in common.
The following post by Russell McCutcheon, reflecting on the role of scholars in Religious Studies, is reposted from the Culture on the Edge blog. That was the headline of a Huffington Post article yesterday, referring to an op-ed piece in the Des Moines Register, co-authored by three Iowa scholars of religion, all with specialties in biblical studies. The newspaper article they wrote opened by stating: