Synopses & Reviews
Many in higher education fear that the humanities are facing a crisis. But even if the rhetoric about andldquo;crisisandrdquo; is overblown, humanities departments do face increasing pressure from administrators, politicians, parents, and students. In A New Deal for the Humanities,
Gordon Hutner and Feisal G. Mohamed bring together twelve prominent scholars who address the history, the present state, and the future direction of the humanities. These scholars keep the focus on public
higher education, for it is in our state schools that the liberal arts are taught to the greatest numbers and where their neglect would be most damaging for the nation.
The contributors offer spirited and thought-provoking debates on a diverse range of topics. For instance, they deplore the push by administrations to narrow learning into quantifiable outcomes as well as the demands of state governments for more practical, usable training. Indeed, for those who suggest that a college education should be andldquo;practicalandrdquo;andmdash;that it should lean toward the sciences and engineering, where the high-paying jobs areandmdash;this book points out that while a few nations produce as many technicians as the United States does, America is still renowned worldwide for its innovation and creativity, skills taught most effectively in the humanities. Most importantly, the essays in this collection examine ways to make the humanities even more effective, such as offering a broader array of options than the traditional major/minor scheme, options that combine a studentandrsquo;s professional and intellectual interests, like the new medical humanities programs.
A democracy can only be as energetic as the minds of its citizens, and the questions fundamental to the humanities are also fundamental to a thoughtful life. A New Deal for the Humanities takes an intrepid step in making the humanitiesandmdash;and our citizensandmdash;even stronger in the future.
andldquo;This book is an important companion and corrective to recent work. The cases made in these valuable essays are varied, subtle, and provocative, and affirm that nothing could be more important than to invest our public dollars in the humanities crucible of effective citizenry and global awareness.andrdquo;
A New Deal for the Humanities
brings together twelve prominent scholars who shed light on the many concerns swirling around the humanities todayandmdash;exploring the history of the liberal arts in America, their present state, and their future direction. The volume focuses on public
higher education, for it is in our state schools that the liberal arts are taught to the greatest numbers, where the decline of those fields would be most damaging, and where their strength is most threatened.
About the Author
GORDON HUTNER is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of several books, including What America Read: Taste, Class, and the Novel, 1920andndash;1960.
FEISAL G. MOHAMED is a professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. A past president of the Milton Society of America, his latest book is Milton and the Post-Secular Present: Ethics, Politics, Terrorism.