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Debating the Humanities

21st June 2011

2011 AAUP Meeting, Baltimore, MD

Rising tuition fees, falling endowments, an exodus of undergraduate students to pre-professional majors, and a spate of recent books critical of the liberal arts professoriate — such developments have raised questions about the value of the humanities as taught in U.S. universities. Cost-conscious institutions have responded by cutting budgets and tenure-track positions in core humanities departments. In this lively, debate-style forum, three distinguished academic guests addressed the current crisis — if indeed it is a crisis — from very different points of view. Ohio State’s Frank J. Donoghue, Pomona College’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick, and the Institute for the Future of the Book’s Bob Stein, specifically considered the role of university press publishing in the future of the humanities, and the role of the humanities in the future of the university press. Will either survive the 21st century and if so, as Shakespeare might have asked, how will it?

AAUP 2011: Debating the Humanities