Submit an academic essay of approximately 1000 words in length. This writing assignment gives you the opportunity to expand upon and further explore one of the topics or themes we have discussed during the semester. You may select the focus of your term paper from any of the areas covered during the semester, but remember that outside research is not permitted. The goal is not to go beyond the scope of our course. Instead, you should challenge yourself to take your own analysis and thoughtful reflection deeper into the texts and areas of study we have been looking at all semester. You may want to expand on an idea you began thinking about in a class discussion or short essay response, or you may decide to write about something new.For my final paper I want to expand on the idea of Humanities and why it is important in this world and throughout history like Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, Hebrew Culture, Christian Culture, and Muslim Culture. I began writing some thoughts in the “Final Paper.doc” file below, I will need you to expand on this, fix it around however you must but make it approximately 1000 words. I need this due in 7 hours please. Thank you.There are plenty of people who ask graduates with Liberal Arts Degrees what kind of job are
they gonna find with that major, but I believe there are plenty of different jobs in the market
today. A Liberal Arts Degree gives a student a broader range of experience as they learn
about the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Writing, etc. and this can help the student adapt
to the many different changes in the professional world. There are employers who value the
communication, technical, writing, and speaking skills learned throughout this degree
because this is something that honestly is hard to teach at any job. That is why I believe a
Liberal Arts Major can look and get job as anyone else in a STEM major as well.
I believe that these students are “better” persons and live “better” lives just because of how
well-rounded that person can become. They have a better way of communicating clearly with
other people in our society due to they knowledge and understanding of the human
behaviors. Liberal Arts students are taught to understand and comprehend complex ideas
more so than other majors and develop powers of expression. This overall balance of the
student helps them understand themselves and how they out to lead theirs lives. I think this
confidence leads others to believe that they are better persons especially if the other person
is not as well of a speaker and cannot clearly get his thoughts out to others.
From listening to the audio I also got the feeling that there are students with Humanities
majors who go on to value the opportunity of exploring and learning more about the human
nature, rather than those who care about the money more so than enjoying life. This is not
considered failure as they are inspired by what they have learned from the Humanities. There
are some that rather go through this path and there are other students who use their Liberal
Arts Degrees to become lawyers or business people, but they are doing it with more social
and self awareness than the average person. In these aspects I believe those students with a
Liberal Arts Degree are considered better people or are living better, but that goes on what
you think is living better. Whether its because of the money that you can make or because of
the kind of life you want to have, some people are happy working long hours to have a good
salary while others want to enjoy their life to the fullest while learning more of the natures
There are plenty of people who ask graduates with Liberal Arts Degrees what kind of job are they gonna
find with that major, but I believe there are plenty of different jobs in the market today. A Liberal Arts Degree
gives a student a broader range of experience as they learn about the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences,
Writing, etc. and this can help the student adapt to the many different changes in the professional world.
There are employers who value the communication, technical, writing, and speaking skills learned
throughout this degree because this is something that honestly is hard to teach at any job. That is why I
believe a Liberal Arts Major can look and get job as anyone else in a STEM major as well.
I believe that these students are “better” persons and live “better” lives just because of how well-rounded
that person can become. They have a better way of communicating clearly with other people in our society
due to they knowledge and understanding of the human behaviors. Liberal Arts students are taught to
understand and comprehend complex ideas more so than other majors and develop powers of
expression. This overall balance of the student helps them understand themselves and how they out to
lead theirs lives. I think this confidence leads others to believe that they are better persons especially if the
other person is not as well of a speaker and cannot clearly get his thoughts out to others.
From listening to the audio I also got the feeling that there are students with Humanities majors who go on
to value the opportunity of exploring and learning more about the human nature, rather than those who
care about the money more so than enjoying life. This is not considered failure as they are inspired by what
they have learned from the Humanities. There are some that rather go through this path and there are
other students who use their Liberal Arts Degrees to become lawyers or business people, but they are
doing it with more social and self awareness than the average person. In these aspects I believe those
students with a Liberal Arts Degree are considered better people or are living better, but that goes on what
you think is living better. Whether its because of the money that you can make or because of the kind of life
you want to have, some people are happy working long hours to have a good salary while others want to
enjoy their life to the fullest while learning more of the natures and environments.
July 1, 2013
The Humanities in Dubious Battle
What a new Harvard report doesn’t tell us
By Anthony T. Grafton and James Grossman
Have you heard about the classics major who intends to be a military surgeon? Or the employers
who think entry-level interviewees ought to show up having read the company history? No, of
course you haven’t.
Those people are not just unmentionable, they’re unthinkable—at least in the vast, buzzing worlds
of the news media, the blogosphere, and the many TED Talks. No one who studies the humanities
could possibly have a practical career in view, anymore than someone who has a practical career in
view would ever bother studying the humanities, right? And in the corporate world, only the CEOs,
not the HR people, value a liberal education. Why would a company like Enterprise Rent-A-Car
care if a prospective employee took the initiative to read the company history? What could the
study of the past contribute to a career in, say, medicine?
This is all common knowledge. And common knowledge is dead wrong, as it so often is. That
classics major not only exists, but also took a seminar that one of us (Grafton) taught this spring,
and wrote an excellent term paper on Spinoza’s Hebrew grammar. Meanwhile, a half-dozen
recruiters informed the other of us (Grossman) that their companies would like to see more college
graduates with the skills of history majors—once we helped them realize what those skills were.
Such students—what they know and what they can do—are what the whole discussion about the
future of the humanities should focus on.
But it seldom does. Academics always want to show we’re serious these days by talking numbers.
And two problems arise when we do that. We get the numbers wrong, and we forget that the
numbers can’t tell us everything. On May 31, for example, Harvard University issued a report, “The
Teaching of the Arts and Humanities at Harvard College: Mapping the Future.” It traces the decline
of humanities enrollments there, drawing an “overall picture … of slow to steep decline, depending
on how one defines the humanities,” over the past half-century. “Without counting history as one of
the humanities, the percentage of humanities concentrators falls from 24 to 17; counting history, the
fall is steeper, from 36 to 20.”
Despite its worried tone, the report plausibly argues that all is not lost, at least among the elite.
Harvard—like its peer institutions Yale and Princeton—clearly continues to have a higher
proportion of undergraduatehumanists than the national average: 20 percent is better than 7 or 8
percent. Students who do major in the humanities at Harvard report more satisfaction with their
teachers than students in the university’s other divisions do. The report’s practical recommendations
for making up lost ground include a systematic effort to reach more undergraduates in their first
year with effective gateway courses—an entirely sensible idea, since few students reach any
college nowadays with much sense of what the humanities are about. More generally, the authors
tell us, humanists must realize that they need to turn away from their narrow professional concerns
and address students, and the larger public, in order to show that that their discipline offers value as
well as values.
The report is informative and reasonable, and its suggestions are constructive. But its impact has
not been what its authors probably intended. The Wall Street Journal, which devoted a detailed
article to the Harvard report on June 6, emphasized the statistics and treated them as a portent of
crisis: “Humanities Fall From Favor.” More numbers entered the story. The Journal cited the
national decline in humanities majors to explain what’s happening at Harvard. After all, the article
pointed out, enrollments in humanities generally are in steep decline, from 14 percent of all
undergraduates in 1966 to 7 percent in 2010, so Harvard is feeling the same pain that everyone else
feels. Many other news media have adopted such a take: What Harvard is telling us is what we
already knew—that the humanities, in American universities, are in free fall.
The Journal article—like the Harvard report itself—relied on a well-known graph from the
Humanities Indicators Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which supposedly
traces the great decline. The fact is, though, as Michael Bérubé has pointed out again and
again: The graph doesn’t show what everyone says it does. Enrollments in the humanities rose,
from 14 percent in 1966 to 18 percent in 1970; they fell precipitously in the 1970s; and then, in the
late 1980s and early 1990s, they recovered somewhat and have remained the same ever since,
hovering between 7 and 10 percent.
Benjamin Schmidt, a historian and visiting fellow at Harvard, helped to create the first version of
the academy’s graph some years ago. Its designers took 1967 as its baseline, he explained in a blog
post in The Chronicle, not for any substantive reason but “because that’s the earliest the federal
government has online records of enrollment.”
If you set the baseline farther back, drawing on records that can’t be directly consulted online—as
Schmidt has done, using printouts of older data—it turns out that humanities enrollments shot
upward and peaked in the 1960s. In the 1940s and 1950s, they were at much lower levels—close to
the levels that they returned to around 1990 and have remained at ever since.
What we have, then, is not a story of decline, in the humanities as a whole and at Harvard, but one
of large-scale fluctuation with a bubble in the middle.
Schmidt ingeniously pointed out that you can reach more-positive results by asking a better
question. Not: What percentage of degrees are in the humanities? But: What proportion of the
American population, aged 22 to 26, earn bachelor’s degrees in the humanities? It turns out that a
larger proportion of the student population is studying the humanities now than did so until the
Journalists’ immediate conclusions reflect conventional wisdom: The humanities is in a long-term
decline that began in the 1970s and has continued ever since. And that is not true. It is a misreading
of the data that has established itself as a truth through repetition, and which journalists continue to
repeat without examination.
History students who learn how to trace footnotes know how easily and how frequently that
happens. Like Bérubé, Schmidt has done a major public service in showing that the popular take is
wrong. Let’s hope that some journalists—and our colleagues—notice what he’s written. More
important, let’s find a way of talking about the numbers that doesn’t always lead into the same blind
For example: The data do show that humanities enrollments are much higher at elite private
universities than at large public universities. Many will interpret that fact as if it proves the
humanities are a luxury. Classics, history, literature, philosophy, and their cousins conjure up
images of students from elite families preparing for leadership but worrying little about
Once, elite universities were indeed home to disproportionate numbers of humanities majors. But in
the 1960s, as opportunities expanded and students’ interests and cultures changed, men and women
at public universities and elsewhere swarmed into those fields. Many took their training out into the
world, while others stayed on for graduate study.
The numbers in the Harvard report suggest that the humanities are again attracting their clientele
from the elite (though an elite that differs somewhat from its counterpart in the past). Humanities
education provides the foundation for leadership, and wider access to such education implies wider
access to positions of leadership.
One chief service of the Harvard report is to make us worry less about Harvard and more about the
vast majority of colleges and universities that are not Harvard—institutions that lack not only its
resources but also the relative luxury of educating students who are not anxious about their first
jobs. Students who think about careers rather than jobs are more likely to tilt toward a humanities
degree. Moreover, national statistics conceal the fact that some public universities have full
humanities classrooms. At Old Dominion University, the College of Arts & Letters is the largest on
the campus. If we really want to understand the situation of the humanities, we need to know, in
detail, about many institutions, at every level.
But the biggest problem in the Harvard report is the absence of what might be the most important
recommendation of all. As the case of our prospective military surgeon suggests, plenty of students,
at elite and other colleges, study the humanities in the conviction that they can do so and still
pursue a wide range of careers. Some of them might even be aware that physicians meeting new
patients begin by “taking a history.” Our undergraduate majors (and minors) know that this should
not mean just soliciting facts and dates. It implies instead a way of thinking about the patient’s past.
Other students are making different decisions, with different pathways in mind.
What we need to hear—and what the Harvard report doesn’t offer us—are their voices. We also
need to hear the voices of those whose lives are touched by these humanities majors after college,
whether at the workplace or in the community.
What makes some students believe that being humanists will make them better doctors, better
lawyers, better advertising experts? What do they find, in their courses, to keep them in
departments of English and history and Romance languages? How are we helping them to articulate
what they bring to the world beyond the university, so they can tell those stories more effectively?
How can we make those stories available to new undergraduates as they decide what to study?
It’s not by worrying about the numbers, in the end, that we will find out what we’re doing right and
what we’re doing wrong as teachers. Nor is it by closing our ears (not to mention our minds) to the
various communities beyond the academy in which our former students live and work—and in
which we live and work.
It’s by listening, as humanists do best, to stories, and seeing what the narratives can teach us. Open
your ears and—we promise you—you’ll hear stories that don’t resemble what you read in the
Have you heard about the professor of neurology who, as a student, learned to do research by
writing a prize-winning senior thesis in history on the death of Captain Cook? No, of course you
haven’t. But he exists, too, and so do thousands more. They live all over the country, and they work
in all sorts of jobs. We need to learn more about what they are doing and how their humanities
education has played a continuing role in their lives.
Counting won’t get us where we have to go. We need to talk, and even more, we need to listen.
Anthony T. Grafton is a professor of history at Princeton University and a former president of the
American Historical Association. James Grossman is executive director of the association.
The Delaware County Daily Times (delcotimes.com), Serving Delaware County, PA
Why it’s so important to study the
Sunday, August 4, 2013
By LAURIE ZIERER
Times Guest Columnist
As a young girl growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I loved nothing more than to stack a tall pile
of books to read and browse over the summer. I see the same with my 11-year-old daughter as
she plans her study of Africa and China and excitedly finishes each book and link on her school
With every turn of the page and new web search, I see my city kid transformed by the words,
pictures and stories that introduce her to people, ideas and places that are sometimes similar, but
often different from what she knows. She doesn’t realize it, but this is her first introduction to the
humanities — and a sense of wonder and passion for learning that will stay with her for years to
Recently the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Humanities and
Social Sciences released the national report, “The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and
Social Sciences for a Vibrant, Competitive, and Secure Nation,” which calls for new investments
and leadership to achieve three goals: educate Americans in the knowledge, skills and
understanding they will need to thrive in a 21st century democracy; foster a society that is
innovative, competitive and strong; and equip the nation for leadership in an interconnected
As the executive director of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, I echo the call in “The Heart
of the Matter” for the humanities to be seen as more than a mere elective. I passionately believe
in the power of the humanities to open minds and inspire cultural dialogue that brings people
from all walks of life together to build a better future for the next generation. It’s time to elevate
the profile of the humanities sector and its importance in everyone’s life and work in
Today more than ever, as we need to sift through so much information, adapt to rapid change,
and engage in a global community, the humanities provide us with the tools and context to
understand, make decisions, and act responsibly in our lives, jobs and communities. When we
talk about current events, books and issues of importance, we not only ask who and what, but we
delve deeper to explore how and why, to see new connections and possibilities for the future.
Through humanities subjects such as literature, history, art and philosophy, we develop critical
thinking skills, empathy for others and a sense of purpose in our lives and our power to make a
collective difference. Humanities are the heart of the matter, animating our democracy and
making us better citizens of the world.
“The Heart of the Matter” challenges humanities scholars at our colleges and universities to
make a better case for the public value of our work. I would point out that the PHC and our
partners — from grassroots arts and cultural organizations to museums, historical societies, and
art galleries — have been actively working to address the report’s challenge in Pennsylvania. All
of us are wrestling with how to make our work meaningful to the public while we have watched
our funds shrink each year.
In response, PHC is building a new model for out-of-school learning at libraries called Teen
Reading Lounge, which uses popular comics, graphic novels, and fantasy to foster fun, creative
discovery and deep learning experiences. The program helps establish libraries as legitimate, safe
hang-out places for many young people who do not have other places to go after school, on
weekends, or during the summer.
Teens themselves actively co-create this program with librarians and arts educators. The program
at once teaches 21st century learning skills and allows teens to explore questions important to
them. Such an experience is critical for teens who may not be engaged by school and who are at
a time in their lives when they are questioning who they are and what their place in the world is.
This is the kind of program that can get kids on the right learning and social track at just the right
time in their lives to make a real difference in their future.
Participatory programming like Teen Reading Lounge and visitor-generated experiences that
now are found in our museums and on the Web fuel our curiosity and allow us to guide our own
learning in an ongoing conversation with experts and artists. Such innovation has to be key to
our sector’s case-making. Together, we need to foster the sense of wonder that is at the heart of
learning and the humanities.
Laurie Zierer is executive director of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, a non-profit
organization and a federal-state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities for the
last 40 years. PHC champions the humanities through original programming, advocacy, and
direct grants to more than 250 organizations statewide.
© 2013 delcotimes.com, a Journal Register Property
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