Marjorie Perloff’s comment that “one of our most common genres today is the epitaph for the humanities” is borne out by the barrage of disturbing evidence that has become a daily part of our working experience as teachers and researchers within universities. These problems, however, also constitute an important opportunity: a chance to re-imagine our answers to questions about the nature and role of the humanities, and why they matter. Responding to this challenge successfully, however, requires a better understanding of the longer history of this crisis, and of the insights that this might offer into our own predicaments today. Taking its cue from Raymond Williams’s insistence on the importance of developing “a special kind of map” charting the history of changing ideas about culture in order to wrestle with the larger social and political challenges of his day, this Special Issue is animated by the belief that today’s crisis in the humanities demands a similar historical turn. Topics may include: the influence of the larger institutional history of the modern university; the mediating force of changing ideas about the organization of knowledge and disciplinarity; relations between the humanities and the sciences; the influence of competing definitions of the public value of the humanities; the relation of these questions to wider debates about culture and society; tensions between the humanities as a field of critical analysis and humanism as an inherited set of cultural values. In doing so, the Special Issue will become part of a broader conversation, which includes several articles and editorials that have already appeared in this journal, some of which are listed below.
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Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2015
Categories: Non ACCUTE CFPs