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Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 4:30pm
A. D. White House, Guerlac Room
29 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
"What the Humanities Are For: Two Responses to Vulnerability": In recent decades, the U.S. university has gone from admired to distrusted institution. Public support is now conditional on falsifying what the university actually does--and on bad descriptions of what the humanities do. In this talk, Newfield suggests how to reframe a (decolonized) humanities so that they and the university can enjoy public support in the 2020s and beyond.
Annual Future of the Humanities Lecture by Christopher Newfield, Professor of Literature and American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Newfield's research is in Critical University Studies, which links his enduring concern with humanities teaching to the study of how higher education continues to be re-shaped by industry and other economic forces. His most recent books on this subject are Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (2008), and Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (2003). A new book on the post-2008 struggles of public universities to rebuild their social missions, called The Great Mistake, will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in Fall 2016. He blogs on higher education policy at Remaking the University, and writes for the Huffington Post, Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He teaches courses in Detective Fiction, Noir California, Contemporary U.S. Literature, Innovation Theory, and English Majoring After College