22 January 2009

Death of the Humanities

Most of us who work in the humanities at universities and colleges have seen our fields and departments in decline for some time. This trend has now been documented in a new book, and the whole sad event has also received some attention from Stanley Fish. I'm a little more optimistic about my particular field, religious studies, because many religious schools like my own will always support it. But I did my undergraduate degree in Classics. While Latin instruction in secondary schools is thriving, that field is otherwise on life support. It will survive, but probably not independently. Expect to see ongoing consolidation of departments and disciplines into smaller, "Swiss army knife" general humanities faculties.

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