Articles on Humanities

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Professor Peter Higgs, joint winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics. Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Pressure to publish is choking the academic profession

The unavoidable regime of publication pervades contemporary academic life across the world. While presented as a virtuous thing, it can actually suffocate the academic profession.
Children’s learning improves across all areas when they get the chance to make and appreciate art. Shutterstock

Why taking art education seriously could boost learning

Art education is an important vehicle for all sorts of learning and knowledge acquisition. Teachers must be taught not to view it as a "second class" subject.
Detractors argue that decolonising the curriculum to include writers like Steve Biko (who was much admired by former president Nelson Mandela) will lower standards. Mike Hutchings/Reuters

South African students must be given the chance to read what they like

Evidence from an 18-month-old research project suggests that making elements of the Humanities curriculum more Afro-centric boosts student engagement.
Art as labor. Courtesy of the Fine Arts Collection, U.S. General Services Administration; WPA, Federal Art Project, 1935-1943

Without a humanistic inquiry, we will lose our creativity

Why do we need the humanities? A scholar of arts revisits a moment in the 1930s to emphasize the importance of creative work and its value in our education.
Forget the doom and gloom about the humanities: employment and research in the sector continues to rise. Smithsonian American Art/Flickr

Are the humanities in crisis? In Australia, the sector is thriving

There's plenty of hand-wringing about the humanities being in crisis – but is that actually the case? In Australia, the sector is thriving, and policy should be made on that basis.
A 1893 self-portrait of the French artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903). Wikimedia Commons

How computer science was used to reveal Gauguin’s printmaking techniques

Artist Paul Gauguin is perhaps most famous for his colorful paintings of Tahitian life. But for years, art historians puzzled over his lesser-known prints: how did he form, layer and transfer images from one medium to another?
Former US Poet Laureate Philip Levine (1928-2015) was down to earth and humble. But he spared no rage towards those he deemed selfish and narcissistic. Brooklyn Book Festival/Flickr

Remembering former poet laureate Philip Levine

Kate Daniels, the director of Vanderbilt's creative writing program, recalls the life and work of her mentor, a man "devoted...to creating gritty and empathetic portraits of American blue collar workers."
A truly deep thinker must draw on both science and the humanities. Todd Martin

What’s the role of virtues in the lab?

The evolution of science and engineering in the 21st century has transformed the role of these professions in profound ways that affect research, scholarship and the practice of teaching in the university…
Socrates: not going gently.

Why I teach poetry and opera to medical students

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. I usually begin my end of life ethics lecture with one of Dylan Thomas' best-loved…

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