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Alumni Chair in Humanities

The Future of Researching and Teaching in the Humanities

The scholarly disciplines we call the humanities have become a hotly contested issue over the past five years. Politicians, newspaper columnists, scholars, and academic administrators, among others, are writing and speaking out about the "crisis in the humanities," defending the values, methodologies, and knowledge imparted by the humanities. Conversely, many are questioning the relevance of study in the humanities and its utility to students confronting the modern, digital world. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields are attracting increasing numbers of students, resources, and funding at colleges and universities, seemingly at the expense of humanities fields, where enrollments have dropped. Critics and supporters alike are asking questions such as: what can the humanities teach young people that is beneficial to their lives, and that is relevant in the contemporary world?

We have engaged this subject at various public forums at the University of Dayton, and will be doing so again. This page provides an ongoing, online accessible reading list about the challenges to the future of research and teaching in the humanities. The intent is to provide a resource for those interested. It will be periodically updated. 


"Why STEM Majors Need the Humanities," Neal Koblitz, Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 6, 2017.

"How Humanities Can Help Fix the World."  John McCumber, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 2, 2016.

"Lecture Me. Really." Molly Worthen, New York Times, Oct. 18, 2015.

"A Letter to the Humanities: DH Will Not Save You." Adeline Koh, Hybridpedagogy, Apr. 19, 2015.

"A Symposium Cautions Against Conflating Education with Job Training."  Scott Carlson, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sep. 18, 2015.

"Don't Dismiss the Humanities." Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, Aug. 13, 2014.

"Notes on a Crisis." Gideon Rosen, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, chair of the Humanities, and director of the Program in Humanities at Princeton, Princeton Alumni Weekly, July 9, 2014.

Benjamin Schmidt:

"The Data Shows There's No Real Crisis in the Humanities." Benjamin Schmidt, New York Times, Nov. 4, 2013.

"The Decline and Fall of the English Major." Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times, June 22, 2013.

"As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry." Tamar Lewin, New York Times, Oct. 30, 2013.

"Who Needs the Humanities at 'Start-up U'?" November/December 2012.

"The Humanities and What Matters."   Paul H. Benson, 2011.

Available through internet searches:

"Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return on Investment," by Jeffrey Dorfman, Nov. 11, 2014 on

"The Crisis in the Humanities and the Corporate Attack on the University," by P. Winston Fettner, August 2011.


Alumni Chair in Humanities

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Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1549