Saturday, January 11, 2014

Academe Quit Me

This somewhat sad post from a soon to be former English prof at OSU makes a good suggestion about what is wrong with the humanities in the contemporary university.  D.G. Myers observes that about the only thing English professors can now agree on is that they can't agree on anything, including why one should teach (and presumably also learn) English literature. When there is no sense of a common pursuit, and we could add, no sense of a tradition to preserve, explore, and extend, then no individual course or professor can know where or even whether he or she fits into the whole.  Instead of a discipline, we get a random collection of boutique courses and particular interests and it is not really very important if any one course or professor disappears.

There is also this: "humanities course enrollments are down to seven percent of full-time student hours, but humanities professors make up forty-five percent of the faculty."  It seems obvious that that can't continue.

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