The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has released a major study that aims to establish benchmarks for assessing the humanities. Assessment was one of the major issues that arose during last year’s English program review, so this is worth a view. Here’s a quote from the press release:
“Until now the nation has lacked a broad-based, quantitative analysis of the status of the humanities in the United States,” said Leslie Berlowitz, chief executive officer of the American Academy and project co-director. “We need more reliable empirical data about what is being taught in the humanities, how they are funded, the size of the workforce, and public attitudes toward the field. The Humanities Indicators are an important step in closing that fundamental knowledge gap. They will help researchers and policymakers, universities, foundations, museums, libraries, humanities councils and others answer basic questions about the humanities, track trends, diagnose problems, and formulate appropriate interventions.”
I’m not sure I’m ready to dive into the raw data, but there are five interpretive essays that look like good entry points.
- Part I: Public Education and the Humanities by William J. Reese
Part II: Taking the Pulse of the Humanities: Higher Education in the Humanities Indicators Project by Roger L. Geiger
Part III: In Progress: The Idea of a Humanities Workforce by David Laurence
Part IV: Landscape of Humanities Research and Funding by Alan Brinkley
Part V: This American Life: How Are the Humanities Public? by Julie Ellison