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Study the Humanities: Context

  • Flitch Coffee 641 Tillery Street Austin, TX, 78702 United States (map)

For the initial class of our Study the Humanities series, we'll consider the current state of argument for and against the humanities. To what extent are the humanities truly, as some say, under attack? What is the nature of that attack, and how does it speak to our current political and social moment(s)? In general, how has the debate been framed, and how effective are the defenses offered by the humanities' proponents?

Our series aims to strengthen how we as a community advocate for the importance of the humanities to everyone. Before we can do that, however, we need to understand the terms of this sometimes oversimplified debate. Please join us.

Texts (optional, but encouraged)
"How Humanities Can Help Fix the World" John McCumber, The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Meet the Parents Who Won't Let Their Children Study Literature" Steven Pearlstein, The Washington Post
"The Humanities, Declining? Not According to the Numbers" Michael Bérubé
"What's Really Happening to the Humanities Under Neoliberalism" Dan Falcone, Truthout
"Why Literature Matters in Debate About Race and Immigrants" Rajini Srikanth, The Conversation
"The Decline and Fall of the English Major" Verlyn Klinkenborg, NY Times