All posts tagged: historian Asheesh Kapur Siddique

The Humanities Are Useless – The Atlantic

The Humanities Are Useless – The Atlantic

[ad_1] “Go woke, go intellectually bankrupt.” That is the latest rallying cry of conservative critics in America’s forever war over the state of higher education. In this case, the man on the attack was Joseph Massey: a self-described “not woke” conservative poet and alleged victim of cancel culture who blasted the recent announcement that Harvard’s English department would feature a course on Taylor Swift. “Come for the intifada rallies, stay for the course on the literary genius of Taylor Swift,” Massey quipped. The idea that radical faculty members are destroying majors like English by teaching classes on the “queer subtexts” of Taylor Swift, rather than the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, makes for a provocative talking point. But narratives like this unwittingly turn the problem inside out. If the humanities have become more political over the past decade, it is largely in response to coercion from administrators and market forces that prompt disciplines to prove that they are “useful.” In this sense, the growing identitarian drift of the humanities is rightly understood as a survival …