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Advocating for the humanities

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As a grad student it is becoming more and more important that the humanities is floundering in part because we aren't public-facing enough. A lot of researchers think such an orientation is demeaning, unnecessary, and irrelevant to their interests. I understand the sentiment, but I think it's wrongheaded ultimately. Here's a fun article to the conflict in academia and its apathy over falling apart:


But now I am thinking about how grad students are willing to get involved -myself included- in advocating for humanities in public squares and being generally more publicly oriented. However, it seems that grad students are the last people who should be putting the time and effort in on the front lines. They aren't established philosophers, so they don't have financial security. They have less expertise to bear on practical issues. They are less-likely to be invested in a particular local community either (they have not bought a house or a condo, say).

In any case, I'm thinking about how I might be misguided on this point. But suppose I'm not, then how do we get academics who are our mentors to get off their duffs and make a case for their field to those who are not in their field? Is this silly to ask?

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MOO, the first step is defining terms and objectives. What is meant by public facing and what are the objectives of public facing academic work?

The second step may be exploring how this issue and adjacent ones have been debated by SMEs in one's field over the last century or so.

Maybe a third step is to imagine best and worst case outcomes. American naval historians rarely get hired for academic jobs anymore. American presidents ask "where are the [aircraft] carriers?" Does this outcome reflect public facing scholarship at its best, its worst, or something in between?

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I don't know, maybe you can also be an up-and-comer and tow this as part of your angle? That's kind of what I'm going for, tbh, since I don't really see a need for caution when the employment possibilities are so limited anyway. 

Sure nobody had to listen to me since I'm not established in the field, but also, newness and newbies, we're kind of known for shaking things up a little aren't we? 

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