15 January 2014

"The Other Public Humanities"

An eloquent explanation of why the "other" public humanities, the one that takes place in the college classroom, matters, from Kristen Case:
The most substantial contribution of the humanities to public life does not come through empowering elite students and faculty members to reach out to their communities, but by extending the most fundamental element of a real humanities education—the power to doubt and then to reimagine—to as many people as possible. Material power, economic power, political power, all forms of human agency, are finally dependent on the power of imagination, which is why Shelley called poets "the unacknowledged legislators of the world." We cannot be a democracy if this power is allowed to become a luxury commodity.
 Just read the whole thing.

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