Looking for practical ideas to save the humanities

Lydia McGrew writes:

I have a new post up at WWWtW called “Plotting to Save the Humanities.” It makes reference to your call for conservatives to try to put together an alternative culture in a practical way. I’m not terribly hopeful in the particular area I’m discussing in the post—higher education in the humanities. But I’m asking my readers for their insights on what resources there might be for finding traditional and well-qualified young scholars.

One idea I’ve thought would be interesting but didn’t mention in the post would be some sort of trad-con employment databank, where conservative employers of various sorts (including, but not limited to, academic employers) can find employees and vice versa.

- end of initial entry -

Laura W. writes:

The discipline of literature is comatose. It will remain so for many years to come, kept from complete demise by a few colleges, such as Hillsdale, and a few professors here and there. The number of families willing to pay $40,000 to have their child pursue the rigorous study of literature is minuscule and the number of students who posses the necessary literacy is equally tiny. True literacy, once so widespread in this country, is an oddity today. It has died because people wanted it to die.

Lydia is more optimistic. I don’t see who would employ traditional scholars. They ask too much of their students (real literary study is as difficult as physics) and would merely turn the consumer away. While it’s true that deep literacy is being preserved by home schoolers, they generally lack the financial resources for an expensive liberal arts college education. Some day it will return, but it will mean giving up other goods. True literacy has never occurred in a society that exalts personal self-fulfillment for women. I don’t see how it could. The study of literature begins in early childhood. It’s difficult and painstaking. In today’s world, it requires the conscious rejection of many distractions. Let’s draw from the wells of the past in the meantime. Let’s keep the flame burning in our own homes in our few spare hours.

Daniel P. writes:

My wife recently took an online course at the local university, the course was taught with online videos and a discussion board where one makes and reads posts similar to a blog except its private and no one is anonymous. It was of course horribly overpriced, but it got me to thinking. While still primarily a junior college thing, several universities are offering online degrees, replete with the hefty price tag.

An online university should be able to operate with minimal infrastructure at a reasonable cost while still paying its professors and tutors, who would work primarily from home, a good salary. All that is really needed for a virtual school is a few servers and some toll free numbers; perhaps a warehouse for equipment to lease. I’m thinking a total tuition of 8K-12K

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 11, 2008 12:33 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):