Why Does It Matter?

Why Does It Matter?

Within humanities fields we are becoming familiar with the wide circulation of narratives of crisis concerning the downfall of the humanities—these narratives understand that in this long neoliberal moment we are witness to the ongoing denigration of the arts and humanities across mass media, popular culture, and even the university itself. While such narratives present analyses that are important and necessary, we suggest that in addition to analyses of current conditions a better job could be done articulating palpable reasons why humanities education matters. Indeed, we believe the humanities matter and we want to work against a rhetoric and institutional practice that would suggest otherwise. Moreover, we recognize that perspectives on humanities education are multiple. This is a blog about why the humanities matter, but this is a blog that also attends to the multiple approaches, methodologies, subject positions, and affects of humanities work.

The author of each post has chosen how to define the “it” in Why Does It Matter? “It” might be reading. “It” might be the ways institutional memory can be passed on through humanities-specific research. “It” might be feminist scholarship. “It” might be conceptual poetry. Whatever “it” is, each author believes the subject of choice has a vital part to play in the unfinished project that is humanities education. Authors who contribute to this blog all agree that “it” does matter.

About the blog

The notion for this blog first emerged from a collaborative undertaking at the TransCanada Institute in Guelph, Ontario in the spring of 2013. The event in Guelph made apparent a need for a forum for brief articulations of diverse aspects of the humanities project.


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