By Kimberly Connor
A recent column by David Brooks in the New York Times observed a trend in higher education that is heartening to a professor like me who has publicly advocated in Huffington Post and elsewhere for applying the humanities in professional education. Hoping to encourage a trend that resists a narrowed down focus on producing professionals rather than people, Brooks argues in “The Big University,” that a college education should “leave a mark on the full human being” by promoting conversations that educate the soul.
Yet academics trained in the humanities are often tentative about bringing their ideas to programs that train professionals; likewise professional degree programs, like the MBA and master’s of public administration online programs I teach in, can be equally reluctant to expand their offerings to include knowledge and skills acquired by study in the humanities. My role as a professor trained in religious and literary studies, occupying a position in a school of management, was not a curricular choice but an administrative maneuver. Taking advantage of the circumstances, however, has become my chance to demonstrate what Brooks and others across the educational, policy, and professional spectrum are recognizing more and more: turning to the fundamentals of an education in the humanities is not merely an anachronistic act of desperation but a means of squarely addressing modern anxieties in a rapidly changing material and professional landscape.
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.