Humanities research is groundbreaking, life-changing… and ignored

Most arguments for “saving” the humanities focus on the fact that employers prize the critical thinking and communication skills that undergraduate students develop. Although that may be true, such arguments highlight the value of classroom study, not the value of research.But humanities research teaches us about the world beyond the classroom, and beyond a job. Humanities scholars explore ethical issues, and discover how the past informs the present and the future. Researchers delve into the discourses that construct gender, race, and class. We learn to decode the images that surround us; to understand and use the language necessary to navigate a complex and rapidly shifting world.The academy itself is partly to blame for this image problem. The inward-focused nature of scholarship has left the public with no choice but to respond to our work with indifference and even disdain, because we have made little effort to demonstrate what purpose our work may have beyond the lecture hall or academic journal. —The Guardian