SIPA to Participate in Humanities Symposium

The School of International and Public Affairs will participate in New York University’s upcoming Symposium on the Humanities, taking place November 10 -12, 2011. Organized by the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, the symposium examines the role of the humanities in the future of higher education. Arguably, the humanities promote development of the aesthetic and analytical abilities required for advanced degrees. They also encourage the type of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary thinking our increasingly global world demands. In recent decades, however, a majority of colleges and universities have reorganized or restructured their curricula in order to offer more “practical” and/or marketable majors with a preference towards studies in the natural and social sciences. The humanities are confronted with a political and social climate that increasingly view them as irrelevant, even unessential to America’s economic and cultural vitality. This lack of confidence in the humanities has prompted a reassessment of their value or worth in 21st century higher education. The primary goal of the symposium is to engender a meaningful debate about the nature, scope, and future of the humanities and liberal arts in American 21st century higher education.

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