Changing the Narrative

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, “To Save the Humanities, Change the Narrative”: The article discusses the continuing assault of articles in the media claiming the humanities are in crisis, even though the data suggests something quite different (click on the excerpt below to go to the whole article).

Interestingly, although programs and tenure-track lines may in fact be under stress, actual data do not support the overall crisis narrative. Unemployment rates and salaries in the humanities are near the median for all majors, and salaries for graduates in philosophy, English, and history are higher than the median. Following a drop in total major numbers in the 1970s, humanities degrees have remained constant. However, these data seem to have little effect on the humanities’ detractors, and the narrative that they weave about the demise and irrelevance of the humanities can seem impervious to empirical reality. Unfortunately, false crisis narratives have real effects.

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