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Defending the Humanities

Defending the Humanities Democratic Professionalism: Sharing Authority in Civic Life Defending the Humanities Albert W. Dzur James Seaton It is easy to dismiss critiques of the state of the humanities in American higher education, if only because there have been so many of them for so long. It is now more than two decades since Allan Bloom published his The Closing of the American Mind and more than a century since Irving Babbitt's Literature and the American College. Since Bloom's bestseller, Alvin Kernan's The Death of Literature (1990) John Ellis' Literature Lost (1997), and Anthony Kronman's Education's End (2007) have appeared.1 One might think that such overlapping critiques would strengthen the case presented, but when dire warnings are repeatedly sounded and no obvious disaster seems to occur, eventually the warnings themselves are discredited. The very titles of some of the works cited suggest that the struggle is over and only catastrophe can follow. Why then make any attempt and why bother, for that matter, reading the book itself? Babbitt, Bloom and the rest, whatever the titles of their books, have indeed made cogent arguments that need to be taken into account in considering the situation of the humanities in higher education, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Good Society Penn State University Press

Defending the Humanities

The Good Society , Volume 17 (2) – Jan 18, 2008

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 The Pennsylvania State University
ISSN
1538-9731
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Democratic Professionalism: Sharing Authority in Civic Life Defending the Humanities Albert W. Dzur James Seaton It is easy to dismiss critiques of the state of the humanities in American higher education, if only because there have been so many of them for so long. It is now more than two decades since Allan Bloom published his The Closing of the American Mind and more than a century since Irving Babbitt's Literature and the American College. Since Bloom's bestseller, Alvin Kernan's The Death of Literature (1990) John Ellis' Literature Lost (1997), and Anthony Kronman's Education's End (2007) have appeared.1 One might think that such overlapping critiques would strengthen the case presented, but when dire warnings are repeatedly sounded and no obvious disaster seems to occur, eventually the warnings themselves are discredited. The very titles of some of the works cited suggest that the struggle is over and only catastrophe can follow. Why then make any attempt and why bother, for that matter, reading the book itself? Babbitt, Bloom and the rest, whatever the titles of their books, have indeed made cogent arguments that need to be taken into account in considering the situation of the humanities in higher education,

Journal

The Good SocietyPenn State University Press

Published: Jan 18, 2008

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