Humanist: Heal Thyself

— The Chronicle of Higher Education

Mapping the Future is a remarkable agenda to render the humanities more attractive to undergraduates: eliminating excessive specialization and theoretical jargon, while reaffirming the priority of teaching over research; revisiting the canon, understood as an evolving selection of worthwhile works; taking student career concerns seriously by building transferable competencies, especially in language skills, broadly understood; and recognizing that the humanities have more to offer than adversary criticism, such as opportunities for aesthetic pleasure and positive identifications with cultures and traditions. The Harvard study provides a reasonable plan for the humanities to overcome some self-inflicted damage; it remains to be seen if humanists will succeed in putting it into effect.

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