What the Times Didn’t Say About the Humanities

“As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry,” said the headline in the New York Times. True enough. But the long front-page story described only half of the problem–that the rise of the computer culture and the recession have turned many students away from the traditional curriculum. On his blog, Via Meadia, Walter Russell Mead discussed the half of the problem the Times decided not to address:

“The humanities meltdown is a huge indictment of the academic fads and trends of the last generation. A serious liberal arts education in the humanities … is actually the most practical education for many students. …20th century French literary criticism, faddish race class and gender curriculums, jihads against the tradition canon because there are too many DWEMs (Dead White European Males) in it: those are less useful. Unfortunately, this is where too many professors in too many humanities departments focus too much of their energy, and students are beginning to tune them out.”

John Leo

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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