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Humanist Archives: June 13, 2019, 6:40 a.m. Humanist 33.86 - the future of the humanities

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 86.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-06-12 07:44:22+00:00
        From: Ken Friedman 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.76: the future of the humanities?

Dear Henry,

>        From: Henry Schaffer 
>        Subject: Would you censor this?
> https://www.gocomics.com/wumo/2019/06/10

Thanks for this. I would not censor it - in a sense, it is a political

This is a comment on the current state of universities in contemporary
societies. The situation of the humanities in universities is not entirely the
doing of the universities. On one hand, universities in many nations are
required to educate an increasing number of students people with an increasing
range of offerings, many linked to post-graduation employability measures. On
the other hand, the governments and funding agencies on which universities
depend provide decreasing resources for these greater demands.

People with a humanities degree were once suited to many kinds of jobs. Changes
to the world economy have reduced the number of jobs that once needed people
with the capacity for analytical and critical thinking. At the same time, there
are even fewer real jobs in universities where humanists might still seek work.
(There is some debate to be had on this - there may actually be a modestly
increasing number of academic jobs for graduates with a PhD, while the supply of
doctors has grown at a far greater rate. Even so, it remains true that the
greatest number of university jobs today are short-term gigs, and there are no
jobs for people who only have a BA in a university world over-populated by
unemployed doctors.)

The graduated humanities student wonders what happened. The fortune teller is a
political economist trying to explain the world in which we find ourselves.

It's a wealthy world - but much of the wealth resides in ever fewer hands,
unavailable for funding the universities and organisations that were once
considered public goods. Instead, we see ostentatious spending like the purchase
of the questionable Leonardo, followed by the placement of the painting on the
interior wall of a private yacht belonging to a wealthy prince.

Completely blank indeed.



Ken Friedman, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The
Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji University in
Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-

Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and Innovation
| Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| Email  ken.friedman.sheji@icloud.com |
Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I

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