Skip to comments.Faculty in Denial about Own Role in Decline of Humanities
Posted on 06/20/2018 4:56:56 AM PDT by reaganaut1
If you want to see one example of why a new populism has emerged in American universities in the last 10 years, take a look at a statement issued last week by the Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The incapacity of the experts and professionals who wrote the statement to understand why their own diminishment has happened is abundantly in evidence.
The motivation for the statement stems from the deterioration of the liberal arts in higher education. The statement puts it this way: the disciplines of the liberal arts, once universally regarded as central to the intellectual life of the university, have been steadily moved to the periphery and increasingly threatened. Note carefully the phrasing. We have a passive verb, have been steadily moved, implying an outside force has displaced the liberal arts. The liberal arts themselves, which is to say, the professors who administer them, have played no role in that marginalization. Its somebody elses fault.
The clause quoted above doesnt end the sentence. After a dash, we have another 11 words that amount to a list of the culprits. They are: some administrators, elected officials, journalists, and parents of college-age children. Though the authors dont specify their actions, anybody who has followed higher education matters can infer what these interlopers in the Ivory Tower have done to harm the fields. The politicians have cut university budgets and journalists have written stories on political correctness in the humanities and social sciences, as well as rumors of the low marketability of liberal arts degrees. Parents have taken their word and pushed their kids toward STEM and business fields. When enrollments in English, history, and the rest drop, administrators see those departments as cost-ineffective and look for ways to restructure them
(Excerpt) Read more at jamesgmartin.center ...
Compare these 2 resumes — who gets hired?
Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, minor in Accounting
Member: Debate Society
Hobbies: Math Club, Chess Club
Bachelor of Arts i Womyn’s studies, minor in Social Justice
Hobbies: Black Lives Matter, Anti-Republican Club
Liberal Arts at many places these days just means...a place where professors and other students can tell you how terrible you are
I don’t think any intelligent or educated person would argue the value inherent in a “classical” liberal arts education. Being well-founded in classical literature, unrevised history, sociology, etc is invaluable to critical thinking and “soft” skills.
However, today’s liberal arts education is all based on political correctness and so-called social justice - which is useless in actually earning a living.
A college degree, for a goodly percentage of their students, is a waste of time and money.
As a congressional staffer, as a reporter, as a script writer, as a college administrator, ...
I had a lot of ‘humanities’ electives when I was a student. I really enjoyed them and learned a great deal.
I was lucky enough to have an English professor who was a retired army Col. He was a Shakespeare scholar and made out classwork very edifying... he was great. But he was the exception not the rule because in other upper level electives (English especially) it was just a grandstanding opportunity for Liberal jerks who loved to spew THEIR ideas!
“LIBERAL arts” has been a pathetic joke for decades. The “professors” mostly are LIB idiots with no sense of civility, facts, honesty, propriety or even what “humanities” is. They are children of the 60’s who couldn’t find a real job in their youth. Sadly, taxpayers pay their salaries and retirement. In private schools, taxpayers often support them through grants for their pathetic wacky, worthless and senseless “studies”. What a joke.
As someone who got a BA in history before moving on to get 2 grad degrees in more useful subjects, Im very familiar with this.
For most liberal arts degrees there are only 2 paths. Either you teach or you go to law school which has become ever less attractive over the last 30 years.....too expensive, and too many lawyers meaning earning potential for many is lousy. So the liberal arts degree is just not very practical - and no, I wouldnt major in that if I had it to do all over again.
The second issue is not just PC but the ideological Stalinism of the PCers. History is just current events far enough back in time that we call it history. There is no capital T Platonic Truth in how to interpret it. People are going to disagree just as much as they disagree about current politics. Thats all well and good so long as they can defend their opinions with facts, quotes, sources etc. a good history education would encompass learning about the same event from 2 very different perspectives. The student could take that in, do their own reading and decide where they think reality lies.
That is not how history is taught today. PC Revisionists came to really dominate Academia from the 70s-90s. Buck them......disagree with their dogma in a paper or thesis or be a grad student for a non Leftist prof, and you can forget about getting tenure or even getting hired at most universities. Academics then try to push THEIR Revisionist narrative as though it were the only way to view historical events and they immediately seek to demean anybody who disagrees. Even the work of earlier historians who were university profs now somehow doesnt count. Needless to say, anything said by anybody outside the Academy - which they now dominate is automatically invalid. Inconvenient historical facts and quotes - even if indisputable and backed up by impeccable sources - can be dismissed.
Their goal is not to educate. It is to indoctrinate. Fortunately much of the public sees it and refuses to buy their BS - to their eternal frustration.
Nearly all universities and seminaries are now annexes of the Frankfurt School. As such, they follow leftist principles and practices:
Usurp something. Destroy it. Blame opposition.
Yes. I graduated in the mid 90s and university profs even then were overwhelmingly products of the 1960s.
I used to have great fun telling them I didnt trust anybody over 30. :^)
Yes. A lot of people here either were too young to remember a classical liberal arts education or condescend to it because they didn’t take a degree in it. It was once a bedrock of western civilization and can, perhaps, be achieved privately if one wants such an education. All the books are out there and haven’t been burned yet!
If I'm hiring a Network Administrator, Candidate A is definitely under consideration.
If I'm hiring a Protester, Candidate B is under consideration.
If I'm hiring a Mechanical Engineer, neither one is under consideration.
Blame Howard Zinn and Matt Damon for accelerating and mainstreaming this. Most schools are just extensions of one: The Frankfurt School. (I emphatically include seminaries.)
My former best friend majored in History before attending a Southern Baptist seminary. He became a thorough Cultural Marxist though he would not have accepted the label.
He was one of the most ignorant persons I knew about Western history generally, and American history specifically. He hated anything that portrayed America in a positive light, and loved anything that portrayed it in a negative light.
I began to worry about him - after our shared private Christian prep school years - when I saw how much he thrived and loved being in a communist indoctrination center (public college, then public university).
I tried to maintain a relationship with him for about twenty years. We are no longer friends.
Western Civilization itself was a course everyone had to take.
There was a time, and a very long time, when the liberal arts provided a significant element of an education, and in some places, still do, but those classes in literature, history, philosophy, etc. evolved from teaching students how to think to what to think.
People can do these courses on their own. I think Harold Bloom has a book on it and even F. Scott Fitzgerald designed an excellent curriculum for his girlfriend, Sheilah Graham. It's in her book A College of One. I'm plowing through Origin of the Species as we speak!
II was thinking more an entry-level position.
I guess the scenario I was suggesting was if this was your entire universe of applicants which one?
This isn’t as academic as you think. I was a consultant for several extremely large consultancies and we would get applicants straight out of college with majors that rarely had anything to do with what we would be assigning them to do.
These were entry-level positions but required a college degree. The fact remains that STEM and business-related majors got hired. Womyn’s studies majors are only qualified to be HIRED as professors or maybe EEO hires for newspapers.
At this point, I’m a little unclear on what you mean by “entry level position”. Please elaborate (and no, I’m not trying to be an ass).
B gets hired. Now that liberals have taken over corporate offices, they have circled the wagons and only hire “like minded” people.
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