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English Majors Evaporating


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#1 Christian

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 09:18 AM

Rod Dreher links to a long column I haven't read in full, and wonders what's to become of English majors. He excerpts the thoughts of William Chase:

What are the causes for this decline? There are several, but at the root is the failure of departments of English across the country to champion, with passion, the books they teach and to make a strong case to undergraduates that the knowledge of those books and the tradition in which they exist is a human good in and of itself.

Meanwhile, undergraduates have become aware of this turmoil surrounding them in classrooms, hallways, and coffee lounges. They see what is happening to students only a few years older than themselves--the graduate students they encounter as teaching assistants, freshman instructors, or "acting assistant professors." These older students reveal to them a desolate scene of high career hopes soon withered, much study, little money, and heavy indebtedness. In English, the average number of years spent earning a doctoral degree is almost 11. After passing that milestone, only half of new Ph.D.'s find teaching jobs, the number of new positions having declined over the last year by more than 20 percent; many of those jobs are part-time or come with no possibility of tenure.


I heard a lot of this same talk while studying Communications, with an emphasis in Film and Popular Culture, in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and it's true: You won't make as much money as students who study more technical disciplines. But other than a couple of short-term layoffs, I've never been jobless. I went to school to learn about subjects that interested me, and did so on my parents' dime. Then, for my Masters degree, I paid my own way (with a little employer/continuing education assistance early on, but which soon disappeared) to study ... Religion, at seminary. Yup, another discipline with no big payoff, but something that, I like to think, made me more learned, and which scratched an itch -- the only itch I had at the time -- for further learning.

I understand why students would steer clear of a major which doesn't lead to a particular skill suited for a particular job, but I also don't think the Ph.D./teaching route is the only option for English majors. I like to think that Liberal Arts majors in general won't just disappear. Not everyone wants to be an engineer, a chemist, or a math major. Or a computer programmer.



#2 Christian

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:13 PM

We've discussed this subject in other threads, but we have a dedicated thread with one post. So let's build on it.

Joseph Epstein takes up the case in a review of "The Cambridge History of the American Novel" in the Wall Street Journal:

English majors once comprised 7.6% of undergraduates, but today the number has been nearly halved, down to 3.9%. Part of this decline is doubtless owing to the worry inspired in the young by a fragile economy. (The greatest rise is in business and economics majors.) Yet that is far from the whole story. William Chace, a former professor of English who was subsequently president of Wesleyan University and then Emory University, in a 2009 article titled "The Decline of the English Department," wrote:

What are the causes for this decline? There are several, but at the root is the failure of departments of English across the country to champion, with passion, the books they teach and to make a strong case to undergraduates that the knowledge of those books and the tradition in which they exist is a human good in and of itself. What departments have done instead is dismember the curriculum, drift away from the notion that historical chronology is important, and substitute for the books themselves a scattered array of secondary considerations (identity studies, abstruse theory, sexuality, film and popular culture). In so doing, they have distanced themselves from the young people interested in good books.


And although aspiring and current academics on the board might bristle at the following indictment of the contributors to this collection, I found it amusing:

These scholars may teach English, but they do not always write it, at least not quite. A novelist, we are told, "tasks himself" with this or that; things tend to get "problematized"; the adjectives "global" and "post"-this-or-that receive a good workout; "alterity" and "intertexuality" pop up their homely heads; the "poetics of ineffability" come into play; and "agency" is used in ways one hadn't hitherto noticed, so that "readers in groups demonstrate agency." About the term "non-heteronormativity" let us not speak.

These dopey words and others like them are inserted into stiffly mechanical sentences of dubious meaning. "Attention to the performativity of straight sex characterizes . . . 'The Great Gatsby' (1925), where Nick Carraway's homoerotic obsession with the theatrical Gatsby offers a more authentic passion precisely through flamboyant display." Betcha didn't know that Nick Carraway was hot for Jay Gatsby? We sleep tonight; contemporary literary scholarship stands guard.

Edited by Christian, 31 August 2011 - 12:15 PM.


#3 Christian

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:19 PM

Strange. I pulled up an older thread that's shaded on the screen, and which doesn't appear when I click "View New Content." Can anyone else see this? I wonder if I activated a deleted thread of something.

#4 Christian

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:56 AM

I can't figure out why our original "English Majors Evaporating" thread comes up in searches but isn't visible when viewing new posts. I can see the thread, but it's shaded or grayed out. I've asked about this but haven't heard from the Image folks. I figured it's OK to start a new thread on the subject. If I hear otherwise, I'll delete this new thread.

In the meantime, here's what I recently posted in the invisible thread:


Joseph Epstein takes up the case in a review of "The Cambridge History of the American Novel" in the Wall Street Journal:

English majors once comprised 7.6% of undergraduates, but today the number has been nearly halved, down to 3.9%. Part of this decline is doubtless owing to the worry inspired in the young by a fragile economy. (The greatest rise is in business and economics majors.) Yet that is far from the whole story. William Chace, a former professor of English who was subsequently president of Wesleyan University and then Emory University, in a 2009 article titled "The Decline of the English Department," wrote:

What are the causes for this decline? There are several, but at the root is the failure of departments of English across the country to champion, with passion, the books they teach and to make a strong case to undergraduates that the knowledge of those books and the tradition in which they exist is a human good in and of itself. What departments have done instead is dismember the curriculum, drift away from the notion that historical chronology is important, and substitute for the books themselves a scattered array of secondary considerations (identity studies, abstruse theory, sexuality, film and popular culture). In so doing, they have distanced themselves from the young people interested in good books.


And although aspiring and current academics on the board might bristle at the following indictment of the contributors to this collection, I found it amusing:

These scholars may teach English, but they do not always write it, at least not quite. A novelist, we are told, "tasks himself" with this or that; things tend to get "problematized"; the adjectives "global" and "post"-this-or-that receive a good workout; "alterity" and "intertexuality" pop up their homely heads; the "poetics of ineffability" come into play; and "agency" is used in ways one hadn't hitherto noticed, so that "readers in groups demonstrate agency." About the term "non-heteronormativity" let us not speak.

These dopey words and others like them are inserted into stiffly mechanical sentences of dubious meaning. "Attention to the performativity of straight sex characterizes . . . 'The Great Gatsby' (1925), where Nick Carraway's homoerotic obsession with the theatrical Gatsby offers a more authentic passion precisely through flamboyant display." Betcha didn't know that Nick Carraway was hot for Jay Gatsby? We sleep tonight; contemporary literary scholarship stands guard.


#5 NBooth

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 12:57 PM

FWIW, I showed this article to a member of the English department here at the University of Alabama, and she suggested that the numbers are a bit unrealistic--that while the percentage of English majors may have reached 7.6% in the '60s, that high number was actually an anomaly. Historically the numbers seem to hover around 3%. She did express concern, however, that English departments are failing to teach students how to read and write effectively, which makes sense.

I'm not crazy about the Epstein's argument, myself--but then, I am drawn to English precisely because of the "secondary considerations" he mocks. I find his grump here spectacularly misguided:

"The Cambridge History of the American Novel" could only have come into the world after the death of the once-crucial distinction between high and low culture, a distinction that, until 40 or so years ago, dominated the criticism of literature and all the other arts. Under the rule of this distinction, critics felt it their job to close the gates on inferior artistic products. The distinction started to break down once the works of contemporary authors began to be taught in universities.

The study of popular culture—courses in movies, science fiction, detective fiction, works at first thought less worthy of study in themselves than for what they said about the life of their times—made the next incursion against the exclusivity of high culture. Multiculturalism, which assigned an equivalence of value to the works of all cultures, irrespective of the quality of those works, finished off the distinction between high and low culture, a distinction whose linchpin was seriousness.


The distinction between high and low culture isn't/wasn't seriousness; it is/was snobbery. Honestly, I'm more interested in what a work has to say than whether it's "high" or "low"--and I certainly don't care how old it is.

At any rate, Epstein's argument is incomplete in a crucial sense: he nowhere uses the term "kids these days" and doesn't threaten to kick anyone off his lawn. :D

Edited by NBooth, 03 September 2011 - 01:08 PM.


#6 Christian

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:19 PM

Looks like I didn't link to the review.

The high/low culture distinction doesn't appear to be the crux of Epstein's article. I think his beef is with the worldview of English professors. He writes:

"The Cambridge History of the American Novel" is perhaps best read as a sign of what has happened to English studies in recent decades. Along with American Studies programs, which are often their subsidiaries, English departments have tended to become intellectual nursing homes where old ideas go to die. If one is still looking for that living relic, the fully subscribed Marxist, one is today less likely to find him in an Economics or History Department than in an English Department, where he will still be taken seriously. He finds a home there because English departments are less concerned with the consideration of literature per se than with what novels, poems, plays and essays—after being properly X-rayed, frisked, padded down, like so many suspicious-looking air travelers—might yield on the subjects of race, class and gender. "How would [this volume] be organized," one of its contributors asks, "if race, gender, disability, and sexuality were not available?"

I suspect he's right; that was the case when I was in college, 1988-1992.

What's it like these days, NBooth? How many English profs would you say are "Marxist"? Is that a distinction worth making, or a further sign that Epstein is a grumpy old man? (And you're right -- he is, and I think would wear that label as a badge of honor. He's been around a long time.)

Edited by Christian, 03 September 2011 - 01:19 PM.


#7 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 02:18 PM

Christian wrote:
: I can't figure out why our original "English Majors Evaporating" thread comes up in searches but isn't visible when viewing new posts. I can see the thread, but it's shaded or grayed out.

Huh, seems normal to me -- though I don't see any new posts there. All the posts there date to October 2009.

#8 NBooth

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 03:24 PM

Looks like I didn't link to the review.
What's it like these days, NBooth? How many English profs would you say are "Marxist"? Is that a distinction worth making, or a further sign that Epstein is a grumpy old man? (And you're right -- he is, and I think would wear that label as a badge of honor. He's been around a long time.)


From my (admittedly limited, since I'm very new--indeed, an infant--to the Graduate School game) perspective, I've not gotten the impression that too many English profs around here are Marxist--which isn't the same thing as saying they don't agree with several of Marx's critiques of unregulated Capitalism. Indeed, the professor I mentioned above was at pains elsewhere to point out that she is not a Marxist. Most of the profs I've encountered are more interested in studying their respective fields (Renaissance studies, Theory, etc) than making any sort of commitment to Marx. [FWIW, I did my undergrad work at Covenant College--a pretty conservative place, and not really much of a safehaven for Marxists or--as in my case--Marx-sympathizers]

EDIT: Actually, unless my memory deceives me, one of the complaints Terry Eagleton (that fully committed Marxist) makes in After Theory is that the post-theoretical and postmodern trends have caused politics (and, thus, Marxism) to be increasingly denigrated in favor of "apolitical" studies--most notably, an increasing attention to sex. For whatever that's worth; Eagleton has his own grumpy-old-man moments.

EDIT EDIT:

[The Marxist] finds a home there because English departments are less concerned with the consideration of literature per se than with what novels, poems, plays and essays—after being properly X-rayed, frisked, padded down, like so many suspicious-looking air travelers—might yield on the subjects of race, class and gender. "How would [this volume] be organized," one of its contributors asks, "if race, gender, disability, and sexuality were not available?"


As it happens, this has actually been a topic of discussion for the past couple of days in-class, and there seem to be two competing interpretations:

1) One viewpoint(which--cards on the table--I happen to favor) shrugs its shoulders and points out that there has never been a "pure" way of reading literature--that the New Critics, for all their protestations to the contrary, were just as guilty of porting-in race, class, and gender as race-studies, class-studies, and gender-studies. The difference is that the formalism of the approach disguised that fact; you can hardly be accused of ignoring class in Tristram Shandy or Byron if class doesn't appear in those works. But to say this buys into the idea that class assumptions aren't somehow part and parcel of those works even if such issues don't come up explicitly. And besides (I say), as long as you've got something interesting to say, why should it matter if you're reading the literature self-consciously through a framework of class, gender, or race? It's neither more nor less artificial than the New Critic's method.

2) The other viewpoint (espoused, as near as I can make out, by the professor with whom I discussed the article) is that this fragmenting of the field does present problems--namely, how does an English department describe what it does if it's branching out into fields of political or social studies? But there's a sense that you can't put toothpaste back in the tube, and whatever path English takes in the future will have to incorporate and make do with this new-found fragmentation.

Like I say, my reaction to the article was initially to throw my hands up and exclaim "What's the big deal?" I got into English after earning an Bachelor's in Philosophy and Religion precisely because of the multiplicity of theoretical-critical approaches; I doubt it would be nearly so interesting if Marxists, Feminists, GLBT theorists, and a whole raft of other schools weren't around.

Edited by NBooth, 03 September 2011 - 04:12 PM.


#9 Christian

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:24 AM

Related, so I'm putting it here in this thread, is this analysis of what ails university education:

Conservatives were always skeptical of the campaign to democratize higher education, arguing that it was bound to lead to lowered standards and loss of purpose. Events have confirmed their predictions, even if their diagnosis has done little to alter the path of the American university.

Liberals have been more reserved in their criticisms of higher education, no doubt because they (in contrast to conservatives) have been in charge of the enterprise over these many decades. ...

Yet a curious thing is now happening in the ever-expanding commentary on higher education: many of the criticisms formerly made by conservatives are now being reprised by liberals, or at least by authors who are in no way associated with conservative ideas or organizations. At least two distinguished academic leaders, Anthony Kronman, the former Dean of the Yale Law School, and Harry Lewis, the former Dean of Students at Harvard, have published stern critiques of colleges and universities for failing to challenge students with the great moral and political questions that were once incorporated into liberal arts curricula. Now several books have appeared, written from a liberal point of view, that take colleges and universities to task on various counts: they are too expensive; the education they offer is sub-par, especially in relation to costs; they are administratively top-heavy; their faculties are too specialized; they do not emphasize teaching; their catalogs are filled with bizarre courses; and, more importantly, they are not providing the liberal arts education that students need and deserve. These are serious charges, especially when one considers who is making them. What lies behind them? And what do the authors propose to do about them?


#10 Jason Panella

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:29 AM

Related, so I'm putting it here in this thread, is this analysis of what ails university education:

Conservatives were always skeptical of the campaign to democratize higher education, arguing that it was bound to lead to lowered standards and loss of purpose. Events have confirmed their predictions, even if their diagnosis has done little to alter the path of the American university.

Liberals have been more reserved in their criticisms of higher education, no doubt because they (in contrast to conservatives) have been in charge of the enterprise over these many decades. ...

Yet a curious thing is now happening in the ever-expanding commentary on higher education: many of the criticisms formerly made by conservatives are now being reprised by liberals, or at least by authors who are in no way associated with conservative ideas or organizations. At least two distinguished academic leaders, Anthony Kronman, the former Dean of the Yale Law School, and Harry Lewis, the former Dean of Students at Harvard, have published stern critiques of colleges and universities for failing to challenge students with the great moral and political questions that were once incorporated into liberal arts curricula. Now several books have appeared, written from a liberal point of view, that take colleges and universities to task on various counts: they are too expensive; the education they offer is sub-par, especially in relation to costs; they are administratively top-heavy; their faculties are too specialized; they do not emphasize teaching; their catalogs are filled with bizarre courses; and, more importantly, they are not providing the liberal arts education that students need and deserve. These are serious charges, especially when one considers who is making them. What lies behind them? And what do the authors propose to do about them?


I read this article over the weekend, and there's a lot of good stuff in there. I'm currently in grad school for a MA in Higher Education, so I'm studying these sorts of things all of the time. I feel like I'm somehow becoming more hopeful AND more cynical with each class. I might explode sometime soon.

#11 NBooth

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:05 AM

I read this article over the weekend, and there's a lot of good stuff in there. I'm currently in grad school for a MA in Higher Education, so I'm studying these sorts of things all of the time. I feel like I'm somehow becoming more hopeful AND more cynical with each class. I might explode sometime soon.


Same here, except I'm studying Lit. My bachelor's is in Philosophy and Religion.

Sigh. I sure know how to pick 'em.

Edited by NBooth, 07 September 2011 - 09:07 AM.


#12 Anders

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:10 AM

If I have some time to read these articles I'll chime in with a few thoughts. The direction of the academy in the next few decades is very important to me, as I'm currently starting my second year of a PhD in English and Film Studies.

#13 Ryan H.

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:22 AM

I graduated with a Bachelor's in English Lit. But it was at Wheaton College, not exactly a haven of extreme ideological diversity (though I don't say that as a put-down; I think the Christian commitments of the school shaped English instruction in some very helpful ways, and I had some marvelous professors). I'd say I'm more sympathetic to Epstein than not on this one, but then I'm pretty apathetic to those "secondary considerations" and decided not to pursue further English study because of them.

Edited by Ryan H., 07 September 2011 - 09:43 AM.


#14 Andy Whitman

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:46 AM

The authors cite a telling statistic: between 2005 and 2007, American universities awarded 101,009 doctoral degrees but in those years created just 15,820 assistant professorships. Few graduate students have any realistic hope of pursuing careers in the fields in which they are being trained. Many of these redundant Ph.D.s wind up driving taxicabs or managing restaurants, but many are also recruited back to campus as adjuncts to teach courses for a fraction of what tenured professors are paid. The authors estimate that 70 percent of all college teaching is performed by adjuncts, graduate assistants, and other non-faculty personnel.

I'm not a math major, but even I can figure out that 15% of those awarded Ph.D.s have any realistic hope of longterm employment in their fields.

It's anecdotal, I know, but the local community college recruited me a while back to teach writing courses as an adjunct. The pay? Slightly less than $24K per year for more or less fulltime work. For comparison's sake, a cashier at Krogers makes far better money.

And it's no better outside academia. The Columbus Dispatch recently published an article on 2009 college graduates of Ohio colleges and universities. Two years later, 9% of those graduates were employed in the fields for which they studied. It gets worse. On Monday (Labor Day), CNN's poll asked the question: "Do you take all the vacation days allotted to you by your current employer?" 23% (23%!) of those who participated responded with either "What job?" or "No vacation offered."

I know. You do it because you love it. No one teaches to get rich. And a college education doesn't guarantee a career. Everyone knows that. And that's fine.

But something has to give. It's not going to take long for 91% of those graduates to figure out that it wasn't worth it, that the $80K - $150K that they and/or their parents invested in their education -- the equivalent of a home mortgage -- simply doesn't matter in terms of survival. They are thoughtful, articulate residents of their parents' basements. If they have parents. And if their parents have a basement. And if mom and dad have a job.

The fundamental issue facing higher education is that people want to be able to survive. Eat. Have a roof over their heads. Get married and raise a family. Something has to give.

Edited by Andy Whitman, 07 September 2011 - 10:20 AM.


#15 NBooth

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:28 AM

Oh, it gets worse.

Student loan debt has grown by 511% over this period. In the first quarter of 1999, just $90 billion in student loans were outstanding. As of the second quarter of 2011, that balance had ballooned to $550 billion.

The chart above is striking for another reason. See that blue line for all other debt but student loans? This wasn't just any average period in history for household debt. This period included the inflation of a housing bubble so gigantic that it caused the financial sector to collapse and led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. But that other debt growth? It's dwarfed by student loan growth.


See also: "Class of 2011 will be the most indebted ever"

And here's a handy chart detailing the ways student loans lead to debt slavery.

I'm grateful for my loans (and, truth be told, I got off easy considering the amount my undergraduate institution charged in tuition), but you're right: this sort of thing is unsustainable.

#16 Darren H

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:30 AM

Because Andy's post wasn't depressing enough . . .

I came to the University of Tennessee 13 years ago to get my Ph.D. in English. The plan was to live here for five years and then move wherever someone offered me a tenure-track job. Rather than go into debt for a humanities degree, I gave up my teaching and research assistantships after I finished my course work, took a full-time job, and worked on my dissertation "on the side" for a few years before finally throwing in the towel. There were nine people in my doctoral class and nine in the class behind me. Of those 18, I only know of two who are happily employed academics.

So now I'm the Director of Communications for the UT Foundation, the alumni and development (fundraising) wing of the university. It's a good job, I'm pretty good at it, and most days I feel like I'm contributing to the cause of public education. That's the good news. The bad news is that I'm starting to wonder if such a thing as public higher education will even exist when my daughter turns 18. Part of my job is to keep our hundreds of thousands of alumni informed about legislative decisions that are hurting our institution. They complain to us about their children's tuition growing at 3-5 times the annual rate of inflation, and I have to tell them, "Well, in the past three years, we've lost $112 million in state funding. That's a 22% reduction. In three years."

There are "public" universities in the U.S. now that receive less than 10% of their operating funds from state dollars. That's not public education.

#17 Ryan H.

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:47 AM

College debt is a terrible thing.

#18 Jason Panella

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

So now I'm the Director of Communications for the UT Foundation, the alumni and development (fundraising) wing of the university. It's a good job, I'm pretty good at it, and most days I feel like I'm contributing to the cause of public education.


Just found your bio on the UTAA site. Nice photo!

I should also add, after that creeptastic comment, that private higher education is suffering here too, at least from what I've seen. This is purely anecdotal, but it seems like community colleges are actually getting ahead a bit here. Even though I work in a department that actively tries to convince students to come to THIS Christian college and not the community college down the street, part of me is rooting for the local CC.

Edited by Jason Panella, 07 September 2011 - 11:02 AM.


#19 Anders

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 02:16 PM

What's it like these days, NBooth? How many English profs would you say are "Marxist"? Is that a distinction worth making, or a further sign that Epstein is a grumpy old man? (And you're right -- he is, and I think would wear that label as a badge of honor. He's been around a long time.)


Like NBooth, I found Epstein's grumpy old man schtick difficult to stomach, not so much for his denigration of "fully committed Marxists" (while not of the "fully committed" camp, I find much of value in Marx's critique of the way our society structures itself), but for the snobbery that wants to maintain the untenable definitions of "high" and "low" art as a bulwark against his own vested interets. Anyone who dismisses Vonnegut as a distinctly secondary level American author, in my mind, has no business speaking for me.

Epstein says that we need to make a better argument for why we teach what we teach. I recommend reading Mark Sloukas' article from Harper's a couple of years ago. I think he more accurately addresses why English departments are failing. Because we've mostly given up and ceded the definition of our own value to others:

The case for the humanities is not hard to make, though it can be difficult—to such an extent have we been marginalized, so long have we acceded to that marginalization—not to sound either defensive or naive. The humanities, done right, are the crucible within which our evolving notions of what it means to be fully human are put to the test; they teach us, incrementally, endlessly, not what to do but how to be. Their method is confrontational, their domain unlimited, their “product” not truth but the reasoned search for truth, their “success” something very much like Frost’s momentary stay against confusion.

They are thus, inescapably, political. Why? Because they complicate our vision, pull our most cherished notions out by the roots, flay our pieties. Because they grow uncertainty. Because they expand the reach of our understanding (and therefore our compassion), even as they force us to draw and redraw the borders of tolerance. Because out of all this work of self-building might emerge an individual capable of humility in the face of complexity; an individual formed through questioning and therefore unlikely to cede that right; an individual resistant to coercion, to manipulation and demagoguery in all their forms. The humanities, in short, are a superb delivery mechanism for what we might call democratic values. There is no better that I am aware of.

This, I would submit, is value—and cheap at the price. This is utility of a higher order. Considering where the rising arcs of our ignorance and our deference lead, what could represent a better investment? Given our fondness for slogans, our childlike susceptibility to bullying and rant, our impatience with both evidence and ambiguity, what could earn us, over time, a better rate of return?


But something has to give. It's not going to take long for 91% of those graduates to figure out that it wasn't worth it, that the $80K - $150K that they and/or their parents invested in their education -- the equivalent of a home mortgage -- simply doesn't matter in terms of survival. They are thoughtful, articulate residents of their parents' basements. If they have parents. And if their parents have a basement. And if mom and dad have a job.

The fundamental issue facing higher education is that people want to be able to survive. Eat. Have a roof over their heads. Get married and raise a family. Something has to give.


You're right Andy, something will give. Humanities, as they stand in America, have pretty much lost. But I'm not willing to go down without a fight.

As a Canadian, I think our situation is slightly less dire. English, and humanities in general, face many challenges, but in the end the risk for me is less than for your kids. Education here is still much more subsidized than in the U.S. I think that a lot of these arguments are fairly America specific. Tuition for most students in Canada is less than $10,000 a year. I know I pay less than that for PhD. Count my blessings where they stand then.

Edited by Anders, 07 September 2011 - 02:17 PM.


#20 Ryan H.

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 02:18 PM

Anyone who dismisses Vonnegut as a distinctly secondary level American author, in my mind, has no business speaking for me.

I'm always pleased when someone dismisses Vonnegut.

Not that I would withstand Epstein's snobbery, I suspect. I'd put Bradbury on a list of the Great American Authors.

Edited by Ryan H., 07 September 2011 - 02:19 PM.