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ERIC Number: EJ970032
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Fighting for the Humanities
Nelson, Cary
Academe, v98 n1 Jan-Feb 2012
The question, "Who will bankroll poetry?", succinctly embodies what is now a widespread recognition that the humanities may have more to lose in the current budget wars than either the sciences or a number of technical fields. The only budget war that can unite individuals, rather than divide them, is one arguing that too much is being spent on administration, consultantships, and building projects rather than teaching and research, but that agenda will not likely engage all faculty members who cast a cold eye on their narrow self-interests. To make sense of this possibility, the author suggests that it may help to draw some contrasts between the sciences and the humanities, as they are practiced now and as they confront the contemporary political landscape. Humanities disciplines face special challenges because the added risks they confront from other sources--such as the assessment and accountability movements--may be at least as great as those posed by the budget wars and their potential to undermine shared governance. The task of the humanities is not only to show one the ways that artists and others have penetrated one's illusions by creative acts both modest and grand but also to try to discover when human cultures as a whole have seen through a glass darkly. The author offers comparisons between the sciences and the humanities with the awareness that counterexamples can be found, while recognizing at the same time that the very different kinds of existing challenges to the sciences and the humanities in the contemporary world need to be acknowledged and considered.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A