PERSPECTIVE: Why the Humanities Are No Longer a Higher Education Centerpiece

Steven Mintz, history professor, University of Texas at Austin, writing in Inside Higher Education: “The real failure of those of us who teach in the humanities today is not partisanship or politicization or an embrace of postmodern relativism. It’s that as a result of hyperspecialization, prioritization of research over teaching and mentoring, and the production of scholarship inaccessible to a broader public, we’ve lost sight of the humanities’ true purpose.” Read the full commentary here.

ANSWER: “That purpose is to understand the human experience in its complexity across time and place, to cultivate empathy and ethical insight, nurture aesthetic sensibilities, preserve collective memory and achievements, encourage social critique, inspire creativity and debate enduring questions about beauty, divinity, evil, human nature, justice, and morality.”

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