Why The Humanities Matter More Than Ever—Even When You Keep Hearing Otherwise
Do the humanities still matter?
That’s been the question in headlines about higher education lately. The New York Times weighed in last week, examining the “existential crisis” facing these classic liberal arts programs nationwide. A big article in The New Yorker early in the year kicked off the serious hand-wringing, arguing that traditional liberal arts study has become the quaint province of a privileged elite, students who don’t require a return on their tuition investment and can afford to spend time on unremunerative pursuits. Next, as if to prove the point, over the summer the University of West Virginia said that in order to cut a yawning budget deficit it would cut a range of programs, from world languages to creative writing. Meanwhile, lower-profile announcements keep coming that smaller colleges facing enrollment challenges are eliminating less-popular majors, often in the humanities, to stay afloat.
Originally published: November 10, 2023
Author: Marvin Krislov
Institution: Pace University
Published by: Forbes