Posts Tagged: humanities

The Rumpus Interview with Larissa MacFarquhar

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Larissa MacFarquhar discusses her book Strangers Drowning, why she finds nonfiction so compelling, and how she gets inside the minds of her subjects. ...more

Stop Measuring the Humanities with Dollar Signs

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Even though liberal arts degrees are actually good for business, Matt Burriesci (author of Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter, and the Great Books of the Western World) believes that supporters of the humanities should lay that argument to rest:

A liberal arts education … may not teach you how to change your oil or program a website, but it prepares you to learn any skill, and most importantly, to question how any task is performed, challenge conventional wisdom, and introduce new processes.

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Ourselves and Our World

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Sensational headlines declaiming the death of the humanities often misunderstand what the humanities actually are. Paul A. Kottman explains that the practice of analyzing texts doesn’t just teach us how to think; it creates new ways of thinking:

Whatever we learn by reflecting on literary texts in our teaching is the direct outcome of those very same activities.

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The Literary Underground

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Raphael Allison, at Guernica, fuses together his experience at this year’s MLA conference in Chicago with the subculture of the modernists in order to discuss the “crisis in the humanities”:

Mods and literary academics are caught between the allure of wildness, ingenuity, and nonconformity and the desire for some sort of stability, recognition, and achievement.

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The Self-Fulfilling Death of Humanities

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Fearing the depreciating value of the humanities fields drives away talent and financial resources, concludes Benjamin Winterhalter, writing for the Atlantic. Humanities subjects include research areas often difficult to assess through quantitative methods, but, despite policymakers’ interest in statistical data, many problems facing society are more complex than simple numbers:

There is little sense in denying that there is a crisis afoot in the humanities.

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Is Neuroscience the Future of the Humanities?

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As science and technology dominate our lives more and more each day, those of us in the humanities find ourselves increasingly on the defensive.

One way to demonstrate the humanities’ relevance is with neuroscience. Brain scans not only show us concrete evidence of the ways novels affect our thoughts and emotions, but also give us exciting new insights into how we process literature.

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Undergrads Beware

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An article in the Atlantic discusses the Washington Post’s graph that charts undergraduate degrees and their expected income levels.

The Post’s graph seems pretty deterministic (or maybe it just reflects how trendy it is to plot income level against groups of people), implying that all humanities majors get ready for frugal lifestyles in education and social work.

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