As one with a not insignificant axe to grind against the knowledge industry, I am unhealthily preoccupied with the state of the academy, and the Humanities in particular. Pragmatically speaking, this means that I will drop whatever I am doing in order to read any article crossing my path that purports to defend, or to bury, the liberal arts. There are so many of these opinion pieces, saying more-or-less the same things, that I seldom bother to write about them. But I recently encountered one that I believe might be worthy of your attention, gentle reader.
The article is called, "There Is No Case for the Humanities," and it was written by Justin Stover, a classics scholar at the University of Edinburgh. Though I just heard about the piece the other day, it appeared about a year ago in the newish journal American Affairs. (The magazine was initially founded to serve as the intellectual organ of the pro-Trump movement until its founder, Julius Krein, wrote a New York Times column breaking with the president after Charlottesville.) Stover's thesis is plain from the title, but it nonetheless requires a bit of stage-setting.
[more after the jump]Read More