November 23, 2004
Whither the Liberal Arts? (Plus An MSU Shout-Out)
Cool article in the BoGlo’s Ideas section about the fate of the liberal arts education.
Indeed, if you look at the humanities today, there is considerable excitement and growth at places that don’t look or feel anything like Dartmouth or Harvard or MIT, for that matter. Michael Bub, for example, a star in literary studies and a leader in the field of disability studies, is based at Penn State University the kind of place that Gaita might say isn’t hospitable to serious scholars because it offers degrees in a range of decidedly non-liberal-arts fields. Or look at the development of a serious philosophy program at Texas A&M University, or at how H-NET, a series of websites and Internet-discussion groups created by Michigan State University, has created “communities of scholars” across the humanities and social sciences, and around the world.
“Garbage is garbage,” Menand said, “but the history of garbage can be scholarship.”