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Updated by Simona Combi on Jun 19, 2016
Simona Combi Simona Combi
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Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers

Liberal arts and the humanities aren't just for the elite. The problem facing the humanities, in my view, isn't just about the humanities. It's about the liberal arts generally, including math, science, and economics.

From 'Hamlet' to Hillary

IF Hillary Clinton goes the distance, she may have Shakespeare to thank. Shakespeare and beer. Both forged one of her campaign's chief architects, Joel Benenson. Both are among his compasses. And I mention that not for what it portends about her message.

Why Teach English? - The New Yorker

Whence, and where, and why the English major? The subject is in every mouth-or, at least, is getting kicked around agitatedly in columns and reviews and Op-Ed pieces. The English major is vanishing from our colleges as the Latin prerequisite vanished before it, we're told, a dying choice bound to a dead subject.

The Ordeal That Made Me a Student of Humanity

In 1984, as a 17-year-old high-school student in Israel, I was a member of a youth movement that focused on study, civic work and preparation for military service. Our graduation ceremonies often featured big fires, intended to dramatize our patriotic fervor. That year, some of our leaders had brought back military supplies to help make the blaze especially intense.

How Literature Inspires Empathy

The Egyptian writer and activist Alaa Al Aswany explains how one word in Dostoyevsky's novel The House of the Dead showed him how literature can help us understand one another. Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature.

In Defense of the Humanities Ph.D.: It's No Crazier Than Becoming a Journalist

Yes, the academic job market is a wasteland. But that doesn't make spending your twenties reading poetry for low pay irrational. Please consider disabling it for our site, or supporting our work in one of these ways Subscribe Now > "Why haven't humanities Ph.D. programs collapsed?" asks my colleague Jordan Weissmann this week.

Humanities Committee Sounds an Alarm

A report to Congress on the state of the humanities defends a field that is falling out of favor on campuses.