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Fri Jun 17 16:16:29 UTC 2011

ation of American Universities, said he has noticed increasing concern amon=
g university leaders about "the marginalization of non-scientific work=
" in higher education. "At every meeting
 these days, there is concern expressed about the status of the humanities =
and the fear that the humanities and to some extent the social sciences are=
 being sidelined in a discussion about higher education that seems to focus=
 almost exclusively on the economic
 value of universities.&quot;<br>
Are the Humanities under attack?&nbsp; If they need rescued and if so how?<=
So here's an idea, and this is not new:&nbsp; humanities need to be able to=
 show what they can offer even the sciences. (Now I don't mean getting caug=
ht up in the debate over the &quot;value&quot; of the humanities directly -=
- as that's like trying to defend a fine arts program
 on the basis of the Christie's auction price on a few Picasso's. Also Stan=
ley Fish's retort that the humanities need not justify themselves comes to =
mind, but it's probably easier to make that claim when you are the Davidson=
-Kahn Distinguished University Professor
 and a professor of law.&nbsp; That's not to slight, but to say it's easier=
 to claim the humanities don't need to argue their value when you've alread=
y established/earned your own security.<br>
Here is where my personal interest comes in with Critical Code Studies in t=
he Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS Lab), where one of the goals=
 is to create new spaces for humanities and computer scientists to meet and=
 discuss.&nbsp;&nbsp; While I think it is
 naive to suggest that the humanities will all of the sudden be valued the =
way the sciences are, I'd be interested to hear about humanities courses ge=
ared toward scientists.&nbsp; Not Rocks for Jocks but Greeks for Geeks.&nbs=
p;&nbsp; Critical Theory for Civil Engineers.&nbsp;
 I'm interested in classes that teach the traditional humanities topics but=
 that are aimed at the science students --&nbsp; beyond, say, the History o=
f Science or the History of the Philosophy of Science. Which is another way=
 of asking: what can the humanities teach
 the sciences (which probably plays into a completely useless binary)?<br>
I guess I've been thinking a lot about what humanists can offer code studie=
s and can't help feel that we could design humanities courses geared toward=
 science students that would be (actually and hopefully perceived to be) va=
luable to their pursuits -- with
 perhaps the long-term goal of not erasing but seriously smudging the divis=
ion between the sciences and humanities.&nbsp; Don't get me wrong -- these =
would INCREASE humanities offerings, not take the place of current classes.=
I know I'm preaching to the interdisciplinary choir, but can anyone reply w=
ith actual courses they've taught or offered at their institution that seem=
 to fit this bill?&nbsp; Can we propose imaginary courses that might accomp=
lish these goals?&nbsp;&nbsp; Or does this in effect
 undervalue that work that any good humanities course does already?<br>
Mark Marino<br>
HaCCS Lab<br>
University of Southern California<br>
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