LitDaily

Daily Notes on Literature, Pop Culture & Media, and Academia

It’s so Fishy…

Posted by litdaily on October 18, 2010

Last week, Stanley Fish wrote about the removal of French, Italian, classics, Russian and theater programs from SUNY Albany.  The elimination of these programs marks a defined moment of crisis in the humanities for Fish…more>>

I have been musing over this article, and not because Fish’s claims about politicizing the value of the humanities to administrators is new or even radical, but because his article carries an odd tone and combination of optimism, hope, melancholia, and nostalgia. Fish’s simple solution seems like a cop out. Of course, if the administrators value the humanities, then these programs may have a chance of survival. But the question is: how do we get the administration to value the humanities??

I think it’s a lost cause, and not one that only American universities face.  It’s a global phenomenon based on the fact that worldviews have shifted.  It didn’t happen overnight or in the course of a presidential term or even over a decade. It’s been coming – this slow and gradual erosion of knowledge that centers on humanism.

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