4Humanities is a platform for advocacy of the humanities that draws on the expertise of the international digital humanities community. Digital methods now play a key role in showing why the humanities must be part of any vision of a future society. Viewpoints and projects presented by 4Humanities and its local chapters—statements, videos, infographics, resources, etc.—use today’s means to shout out for the humanities. (More on our mission…)
After more than a decade as faculty and a few years now as associate provost at the category of institution perhaps most under attack in conversations about higher education in America—small, private, selective, liberal arts—my thinking tends to be focused on defending a model of higher education derided in the popular press as “elite,” “impractical,” “ineffective,” or worse. The most prominent such argument of late, of course, was Newsweek’s mid-September 2012 series on “The College Bubble,” headlined by Megan McArdle’s “Is College a Lousy Investment?” (hint: yes . . . for some).
In the democracy of ancient Athens and the republic of ancient Rome, freedom was only for the few. Slaves, servants, and women had to toil so that free men could cultivate their minds, participate in the government, and enjoy the highest goods of human life—in short, so they could learn and practice the liberal arts.
4Humanities@UCSB will hold its initial meeting of the 2014-15 academic year on Monday, November 3, 3-4:30 pm, in South Hall 2509. Continuing and new participants are invited. A surprise, high-visibility new 4Humanities project will be announced at this meeting.
Last weekend I attended my first THATcamp at San Diego State University. If you have not been to a THATcamp before, imagine a free-form, partly spontaneous and hugely well-organized “unconference” powered by the digital humanities community. Attendees get to vote on workshop ideas with colorful post-it notes.