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History and the Humanities

History and the Humanities EDITOR’S NOTE Th e headline of a recent New York Times article spelled out a clear warning. “In Tough Times,” it proclaimed, “the Humanities Must Justify their Worth.” Reporter Patricia Cohen wrote of colleges and universities canceling or post- poning faculty searches in English, literature, philosophy, and religion. She cited statistics that showed how the percentage of humanities degrees conferred stubbornly remains half of what it had been when the fi elds had a renaissance during the 1960s. And she quoted Andrew Delbanco, the director of Ameri- can studies at Columbia University. “Although people in the humanities have always lamented the state of the fi eld,” he noted, “they have never felt quite as much of a panic that their fi eld is becoming irrelevant.” Th e concern was not that the humanities would disappear. Rather, it was that decisions about what to study in colleges and universities would refl ect the prerogatives of class— that only the wealthy could aff ord the luxury of stepping away from training for particular professions and exploring notions of individual citizenship and social responsibility. Th e irony (and perhaps this may be too strong a word), of course, is that this article http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

History and the Humanities

Nursing History Review , Volume 18 (1): 2 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.18.10
Publisher site
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Abstract

EDITOR’S NOTE Th e headline of a recent New York Times article spelled out a clear warning. “In Tough Times,” it proclaimed, “the Humanities Must Justify their Worth.” Reporter Patricia Cohen wrote of colleges and universities canceling or post- poning faculty searches in English, literature, philosophy, and religion. She cited statistics that showed how the percentage of humanities degrees conferred stubbornly remains half of what it had been when the fi elds had a renaissance during the 1960s. And she quoted Andrew Delbanco, the director of Ameri- can studies at Columbia University. “Although people in the humanities have always lamented the state of the fi eld,” he noted, “they have never felt quite as much of a panic that their fi eld is becoming irrelevant.” Th e concern was not that the humanities would disappear. Rather, it was that decisions about what to study in colleges and universities would refl ect the prerogatives of class— that only the wealthy could aff ord the luxury of stepping away from training for particular professions and exploring notions of individual citizenship and social responsibility. Th e irony (and perhaps this may be too strong a word), of course, is that this article

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2010

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