Goal: Bridge from the humanities in the academy to public life —
Higher education is one of the most impactful institutional sectors in modern society and personal life in what is sometimes called the age of “knowledge work.” Along with domains such as business, government, the medical industry, or entertainment, universities and colleges are one of areas that support the ideals of what society and individuals want as good life. Yet so often “the academy” as higher education is labeled is perceived to be isolated from life at large. This is especially the case of the humanities in universities and colleges. No matter the robustness of literature in general society, for instance, “English departments” and “literary studies” appear in public media as siloed in the academy (all about “courses,” “programs,” “lectures,” etc.) or just a political-cultural niche “deconstructing” the literary greats. Only history seems to have a life in the media on both sides of the academic vs. general society divide.
How can bridges be made between the academic humanities and the experience of the humanities in public life? What bridges bustling with traffic to and fro already exist? How might they be examples for new bridges to build?