Inaugural Dean’s Forum: “Narratives of the Humanities” – October 31, 2014 3:00PM-5:00PM, Royce Hall 314

What are the stories we can tell about the humanities? For the past several months we’ve been receiving a fair amount of attention from newspapers, magazines, and blogs. While the interest is welcome, it is too often expressed, by both critics of and advocates for the humanities, as a narrative of decline that cites falling enrollments, diminished job prospects, reduced funding, and a growing marginalization. A more compelling narrative presents the increasing intellectual vitality, organizational energy, and social value of the humanities over the past half-century. This second narrative points to opportunities for advancement on individual campuses and in national academic institutions.

This half-hour talk will be followed by an extended conversation between Pauline Yu and all who attend, moderated by Professor Robert N. Watson (English), exploring the most important issues now affecting our research, our teaching, our funding, and our public role and reputation.