Thursday, 6 January 2011

Blue Sky Thinking

Banner from a student occupation at Goldsmith's in 2009

DEFEND the ARTS and HUMANITIES wishes its readers a Happy New Year. If 'happiness' is difficult right now, let's work towards a well-informed, thoughtful and activist 2011 in defence of our subjects.

To this important end, our opening post of the year passes on some recommendations for essential reading and listening that were first made by members of our Facebook group.
Observer offers blue-sky thinking in appraisal of global higher education. Sarah Cunnane reports 
Business should pay for degrees in subjects such as science and technology, with public funding directed towards the arts and humanities, according to the head of the Institute of International Education.
    In an interview with Times Higher Education, Allan Goodman said it was the duty of universities to produce "as many poets as physicists" and argued that more businesses should show willing to fund the more "commercial" subjects.
    "It's expected that private investors will want their money to go towards the subjects that are more vocational," he said.
"Governments should hear that, and maybe shift more resources to support culture and the arts, subjects that won't get that private funding." [read the rest of this article].
We brought together Martha Nussbaum and Alain de Botton to discuss the value of the humanities, the respective flaws and virtues of British and American universities, and whether academics themselves should shoulder some of the blame for the current crisis in the humanities. Click here to download the podcast. [go to this page in PROSPECT Magazine]

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