Tag Archives: Humanities

Lit Frees Us from Our Mental Ghettos

In a fine “New Yorker” article, Shakespearean Stephen Greenblatt argues that Shakespeare was incapable to showing anything less than the full humanity of his characters, even the villains. He thereby liberates us from our “mental ghettos.”

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Not a Reader (and Proud of It)

What do a president’s reading habits say about his/her vision of America? Obama’s celebration of a diverse America is the vision of a voracious reader. Trump’s shallow narrative is the vision of one who doesn’t read.

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Using Lit to Discover Purpose in Science

My Intro to Literature students, few of whom are English majors, are often startled to discover that literature understands them better than they understand themselves. Today’s post describes the encounters between two science majors and, respectively, Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality” and Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior.”

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Attn: English Majors–Business Needs You

Increasingly businesses are discovering that they need employees who have majored in English and the humanities.

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Lit Is More than Just an End in Itself

Alan Paskow      Yesterday I talked about how Alan Paskow (in philosophy) and I violently disagreed with a series of columns that Stanley Fish wrote on his New York Time blog about the humanities.  Fish was going after those who use the humanities “instrumentally”—as good for something else rather than as ends in themselves.   Alan, […]

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Fish’s Claim that Lit is of No Use

Stanley Fish    Last week I was talking to my colleague in philosophy Alan Paskow about a Stanley Fish New York Times column. (Cancer update: Alan had one of the five tumors in his lungs removed two weeks ago through cyberknife surgery.) Although an old post—last January—it had stuck with us because it contradicts so […]

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