Anthony T. Grafton and James Grossman: What a New Harvard Report on the Humanities Doesn't Tell UsRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: Chronicle of Higher Ed., American Historical Association, James Grossman, humanities, Anthony Grafton
Have you heard about the classics major who intends to be a military surgeon? Or the employers who think entry-level interviewees ought to show up having read the company history? No, of course you haven't.
Those people are not just unmentionable, they're unthinkable—at least in the vast, buzzing worlds of the news media, the blogosphere, and the many TED Talks. No one who studies the humanities could possibly have a practical career in view, anymore than someone who has a practical career in view would ever bother studying the humanities, right? And in the corporate world, only the CEOs, not the HR people, value a liberal education. Why would a company like Enterprise Rent-A-Car care if a prospective employee took the initiative to read the company history? What could the study of the past contribute to a career in, say, medicine?
This is all common knowledge. And common knowledge is dead wrong, as it so often is. That classics major not only exists, but also took a seminar that one of us (Grafton) taught this spring, and wrote an excellent term paper on Spinoza's Hebrew grammar. Meanwhile, a half-dozen recruiters informed the other of us (Grossman) that their companies would like to see more college graduates with the skills of history majors—once we helped them realize what those skills were....
comments powered by Disqus
- Now it’s the University of Louisville’s turn to remove a Confederate statue
- A fortress built by Alexander the Great after he conquered Jerusalem has been discovered
- Yale students protest decision to keep Calhoun’s name
- Six maps that will make you rethink the world
- Middle Tenn. State President Wants to Strip Confederate General’s Name From Building
- The historian and cartographer Bill Rankin has developed a new way to visualize slavery
- Paula S. Fass says young Americans need required national service
- Historians are now trying to show that the gay revolution also took place in the midwest
- The Unconference Movement Grows – And Historians Are Taking the Lead
- New appeal to "Bring Back Military History"