We need systematic research about the humanities not just in them (essay)

Consider two seemingly disparate sets of circumstances. Basketball games today on abc On the one side, society faces an array of grand challenges: climate change and food security, clean and efficient energy, social justice and immigration, and the guarding of democratic norms in a time of social transformation. Fantasypros On the other side, in the most marginal corner of academe, are the disciplines that make up the humanities. Australian native landscapes They confront their own daunting set of problems: declining prestige and funding, marketization and casualization of the work force, disruptive technological innovations (e.g., MOOCs), and growing political hostility. Francesca battistelli songs But what if addressing the first set of issues turns in part on the reformation of the second?

Social problems today are typically defined in technical — that is, scientific and economic — terms. Ireland landscape But as the recent election has shown, human affairs turn as much (or more!) on humanistic questions of social responsibility and cultural norms. Hillsborough fencing The situation is rich with irony: humanistic issues may be omnipresent, but the academics who have studied these issues are marginal players in the debates. Basketball court diagram with labels Humanistic disciplines live a cloistered existence, and humanists are ill positioned to participate in societal debates in practical ways. Buy fabric near me They have spent decades living within the disciplinary warrens of the academy, even while they could have performed a wide range of roles in practical contexts. Ncaa basketball tournament scores But this contradiction also represents an opportunity: working out how to better inhabit social roles should constitute a new research program in the humanities.

Granted, criticisms of the humanities have spawned a large collection of books and articles. Team usa baseball And we’ve read an equally large set of replies. Basketball wives season 5 But what’s remarkable is that while such works have offered pointed critique and spirited rejoinder, they have not spurred the creation of an organized response. Home design ideas 2016 One searches in vain — in America, at least; Europe has made more headway in this regard — for systematic, institutional efforts on the part of researchers to imagine a viable future for the humanities.

Yes, dozens of centers for humanities research are scattered across the academic landscape. Beach landscape drawing These centers do important work on a wide range of topics — interdisciplinary research on memory and identity, societal norms and cultural transformation, power structures and postcolonial urbanism. Facebook desktop icon And the insights generated do eventually trickle out into our public life. Yankee stadium seating But programmatically, this work consists of research in the humanities — or perhaps topical research at the intersection of the humanities and the sciences — rather than research on or about the humanities. What is irrigation system What’s missing is the recursive move, where humanists think about and test an expanded range of responses to the pressures posed by our techno-scientific and neoliberal age.

Now, this could be the job of professional societies. Fantasy baseball sleepers 2016 Some of them, like the Modern Language Association, have done a better job than others in addressing issues of job placement and nonacademic employment. Backyard baseball 2001 But none have committed significant financial or intellectual resources toward the question of whether such troubles call for the examination of a larger set of issues — in particular, whether we need to develop alternatives to the current disciplinary model of knowledge in the humanities.

Under the disciplinary model, humanists have primarily written for their academic peers: philosophers write for philosophers, and poets for other poets — and they all write for their graduate students, of course. Francesca battistelli tour That is all well and good, but isn’t something more possible? Scientists and engineers work not only in academe but also in the public and private sectors. High pitch mike Why shouldn’t epistemologists, historians and narrativists?

Neither humanities centers nor professional societies have launched a coordinated effort at reimagining the social possibilities of the humanities in the 21st century. Cultural landscape foundation Nor, for that matter, is it easy to find any humanities departments that have chosen to structure their programs around training humanists for positions in the public or private sectors. High pitched voice man Instead, the 20th-century status quo has continued into the 21st century, whereby academics in the humanities have only two recognized functions: 1) the cultivation of disciplinary expertise through research and 2) the passing down of a cultural legacy through teaching.

We can all point to the exceptions: Peter Singer and Martha Nussbaum, Cornel West and Louis Menand are both researchers and public intellectuals. Elevator pitch But such scholars form a set of one-offs, rooted in individual effort, rather than being the outcome of an institutional effort to expand the models for humanistic research. Baseball drills at home We can also point to a wide range of commerce, from Hollywood to advertising to the gaming industry, where humanities graduates make use of their education. Football scores But in the main, humanists have relied upon a trickle-down model of humanistic scholarship. Facebook login We do our work for disciplinary peers, hoping that, in time, it will eventually disseminate throughout culture. Vtd softball How this happens we do not know, for we have not made a study of the question of how broader societal impact occurs.

This status quo approach is sustainable at Harvard University, where a $36 billion endowment shields it from external pressures and hard choices. Espn fantasy football app not working (The 2013 Harvard report on the humanities “The Heart of the Matter” avoids questions about the viability of the institutional status quo, where humanities research is overwhelmingly directed toward the interests of disciplinary experts.) But outside a small circle of elite institutions, the humanities are threatened by the loss of public support and funding. Pixel pitch calculator Humanities programs at nonflagship state institutions are particularly vulnerable, but as we’ve seen recently in Wisconsin, even Big Ten schools are under threat.

And so humanists have a choice. Francesca eastwood instagram They can accept the institutional status quo, teaching their classes and conducting research in their specialties while hoping that reorganization and consolidation do not overtake their lives. Ancestry coupon Or they can try to take at least limited control of their future by rethinking the basic societal assumptions underlying the humanities. Softball rules 2016 The latter implies the development of a theoretically robust and rhetorically sensitive philosophy of the humanities, where the nature, roles and institutional homes of the humanities are reconceived — both within the 21st-century research university and across society. Fantasy football team names antonio brown It is this task that should lead to the establishment of institutes on the future of the humanities.

Deeply rooted biases stand in the way of any such effort. Florida softball roster In the first instance, any true reformation of the humanities calls for a transdisciplinary approach, where one acknowledges the needs and perspectives of stakeholders and policy makers. Garden of the gods resort Humanists, however, rebel at the implied loss of autonomy where they might be subject to the demands of others. Usssa softball tournament schedule Second, there’s the question of timeline: making nonacademics part of ongoing deliberations will challenge the academic’s schedule of work. Plants and flowers Humanists move at their own stately pace, in 7,000-word essays and 200-page books, while the wider world expects products in briefer formats and on spec.

In contrast to both the natural and social sciences, humanists have traditionally had only two roles: teaching and research. Football field length Having grown up and been successful within this environment, it’s a lot to expect of humanists to upset their own theoretical and institutional apple cart. Mls softball chino And finally, add to these challenges the dreaded specter of “selling out.” Any diminution of disciplinary purity raises concerns that humanists have simply given in to market pressures.

But if we can overcome — or better yet, theorize — such hurdles, a number of new social roles are possible for humanists. Sprinkler world In fact, in an era when knowledge production has become ubiquitous, the humanities could once again become a core university function, the place of intersection between the academy and society, functioning as translators and integrators within the political economy of knowledge.

To get a sense of the larger possibilities here, consider the current focus on innovation. Fantasy football Innovation is usually defined in terms of economic and technological advance, but surely many of the most important changes in our lives over the last 40 years have occurred in the cultural sphere — in areas such as women’s and LGBT rights, which have profoundly changed both our political and economic lives. Rock garden fort collins Society has already de facto defined innovation in humanist categories as well as techno-scientific ones; humanists could make the process more self-conscious, helping public agencies identify new types of liberatory practice.

A few of us have come to call such an approach “field philosophy.” Field philosophy departs from applied philosophy through its engaged manner of excavating, articulating, discussing and assessing the philosophical dimensions of real-world policy problems. Serious softball But the point here, rather than advocating for a particular approach, is to prompt general efforts toward identifying the varied roles that the humanities can play in 21st-century society.

• Identify instances of success and failure in efforts to bring humanistic insights to non-academic audiences, such as STEM researchers and policy makers in the public realm, and in corporations in the private realm;

• Promote interdisciplinary projects with the STEM disciplines, as well as with schools of business, education and the like across the academy, as well as transdisciplinary projects with policy makers, NGOs, businesses and community groups within wider society.

Yes, some of this work is already being done at humanities centers and institutes, but not in a sufficiently focused and explicit way. U of a softball scores A dedicated institute would function as a think tank for conducting research on the humanities themselves, their present condition and future possibilities. Fantasy football cheat sheet ppr This also implies the development of a team approach to humanities research, something similar to the increasingly prevalent process of team science across the STEM disciplines.

Creating the kind of institute described here would require a risk-taking university provost or president — or, as is increasingly the case in poorly funded times, an outside angel who believes in the relevance of the humanities. Indoor plant stores near me But the times call for nothing less. How to lay flagstone walkway The future of the humanities is too crucial to our common future not to be given the same type of scholarly care that we now devote to our disciplinary specialties.