Earlier in 2016, UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) Political Science major and English minor Austin Yack examined United States political discourse from 2009 to 2015 in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government and also the legislative branch of California (the state with the greatest population) to study how politicians talk about the humanities.
Now, soon after graduating , Austin has extended his study to the next two most populous states in the U. S.: Texas and Florida. In his new white paper, “The Humanities in the Eyes of Texas and Florida Politicians,” he studies the actions of the Texas and Florida state legislatures during 2009 to 2015 on the humanities.
One finding is that in these years politicians in Texas and Florida were more active in substantively boosting the humanities than their California peers, who primarily just issued symbolic “resolutions” recognizing the humanities.
Austin presents his results in his white paper and accompanying dataset.
As part of its “WhatEvery1Says” project to study how the humanities are represented in public discourse, 4Humanities examined United States political discourse during 2009 to 2015 in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government and also the legislative branch of one state (California). Our goal was to learn systematically how politicians talk about the humanities.
Researcher and analyst Austin Yack — a student at University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in political science and minoring in English who has intern experience reporting on politics in Washington, D.C. — canvassed records available through the following government sources: Whitehouse.gov, Congress.gov, Gpo.gov (Government Publishing Office), and Legistature.ca.gov.
The data set he collected from these sources are presented in the form of spreadsheets that include metadata and annotated summaries for all political records referring to the humanities between 2009 and 2015. Accompanying the data set is a white paper by Yack (“What U.S. Politicians Say About the Humanities”: HTML | PDF) containing an analysis of his findings.