Humanities

Rumors of “fading interest” in the humanities at institutions of higher education appear frequently in the media. However, statistics show that the number of students taking degrees in the disciplines traditionally focused on the study of human culture has remained constant since the 1980s (Bérubé 2013; Lewan 2013; Paul and Graff 2012). Moreover, in the first decade of the twenty-first century, business and education leaders are declaring the “environmental humanities” (history, philosophy, aesthetics, religious studies, literature, theater, film and media studies informed by the most recent research in the sciences of nature and sustainability) crucial to addressing the anthropogenic factors contributing to increasingly extreme weather-related events (drought, fire, hurricanes, melting glaciers, and warming and rising oceans) (Nye et al. 2013; Braidotti et al. 2013).

While stereotypes associated with humanities scholarship (dry discourse analysis, esoteric debates) may have once made these disciplines seem ill suited to addressing crises outside the walls …

This essay may be found on page 135 of the printed volume.

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