Humanities in the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Utility and Markets

Paperback | July 29, 2013

EditorEleonora Belfiore, Anna Upchurch

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What is the value of the arts and humanities today? This question points to a long and extensively discussed dilemma. Eleonora Belfiore and Anna Upchurch have compiled a collection of original essays that offer a novel approach to tackling this difficult question. These contributions offer examples that show that, rather than relying on the narrowly utilitarian notion of 'research impact' that has developed within current educational policies and debates, it may be more appropriate to look at the ways in which arts and humanities research is already engaged in collaborative endeavours, both within academia and beyond, in order to address the big ethical, political, technological and environmental challenges of contemporary life. The contributors are scholars from diverse backgrounds, cultural and business professionals as well as policy makers from both the UK and the US. The wealth and diversity of perspectives and experiences they bring to the consideration of the place and role of the arts and humanities in contemporary society allows for a refreshed debate that does not rely on simplistic and questionable notions of socio-economic impact as a proxy for value.

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What is the value of the arts and humanities today? This question points to a long and extensively discussed dilemma. Eleonora Belfiore and Anna Upchurch have compiled a collection of original essays that offer a novel approach to tackling this difficult question. These contributions offer examples that show that, rather than relying o...

Eleonora Belfiore is Associate Professor in Cultural Policy at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research interests focus on the 'social impacts' of the arts, evidence-based approaches to cultural policy-making and cultural value. Previous publications include The Social Impact of the Arts: An intellectual history (co-author Oliver B...

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Humanities in the Twenty-First Century: Beyond Utility and Markets
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Kobo ebook|Jul 29 2013

$20.29 online$26.30list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.66 × 5.61 × 0.66 inPublished:July 29, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230366635

ISBN - 13:9780230366633

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reframing the 'Value' Debate for the Humanities; Eleonora Belfiore and Anna Upchurch
1. The "Rhetoric of Gloom" vs. the Discourse of Impact in the Humanities: Stuck in a Deadlock?; Eleanora Belfiore
2. Speaking out in a Digital world: Humanities Values, Humanities Processes; Jan Parker
3. The Futility of the Humanities; Michael Bérubé
4. Fahrenheit 451 - The higher Philistinism; Jim McGuigan
5. Speaking of Impact... Languages and the Utility of the Humanities; David Looseley
6. The Histories of Medicine: Toward an Applied History of Medicine; Howard I. Kushner and Leslie S. Leighton
7. Productive Interactions: Geography and the Humanities; Connie Johnston
8. Museums and the Search for Meaning in the "Necessary Context" of the Market; Mark O'Neill
9. Values and Sustainability at Penland School of Crafts; Anna Upchurch and Jean McLaughlin
10. The Humanities & Open Access Publishing: A New Paradigm of Value?; Eleonora Belfiore
11. Digital Right and the Ethics of Digitization: a Case Study in Technology and Implicit Contracts; Rick McGeer
12. Hacking the Humanities: 21st Century Literacies and the "Becoming-Other" of the Humanities; Mark J.V. Olson

Editorial Reviews

'The book is beautifully written and edited, allowing the reader to relax and enjoy the experience of following an intense, academic debate, whilst its hard, critical edge skewers economic triumphalism on its own inconsistencies. This makes Humanities in the 21st Century both a compelling call to humanities scholars to reclaim the public value debate, as well as setting a demanding standard for others wanting to participate in that debate.' - Paul Benneworth, LSE Review of Books 'This is an engaging and timely book, arriving at a moment when the perceived 'crisis of the humanities' seems to be deepening and the pace of change in the culture of universities is rapidly increasing. Its distinguished authors raise serious questions about the role(s) of the Humanities in the academy and their impact outside its walls, and provide serious answers from a variety of perspectives. Especially valuable is the collective attempt to move beyond rhetorical posturing in considering what can sensibly be claimed as the 'utility' of humanistic learning and ways of knowing. Topics of great urgency addressed include the challenges and opportunities of digital media for humanistic self-understanding as well as the day-to-day practice of teaching and research; threats to the autonomy and continued funding of humanistic fields embodied in market models of education; tensions between the ethical commitments implicit in the humanities and the market economies within which they operate; and the possibilities of combining humanistic and scientific modes of inquiry in interdisciplinary research programmes and curricula. These essays embody skills the humanistic learning claims to develop: critical reflection, clear argumentation, and breadth of vision. Anyone interested in the survival and flourishing of the humanities should read this book.' - Professor Peter Burian, Dean of the Humanities, Duke University, USA'As the university systems of the UK, Europe, US and Australia hunker down for several more years of crisis-induced austerity, there is a pressing need for fresh evidence and analysis of the economic, social and public value of research. The natural sciences have no shortage of advocates; in this timely collection, Eleonora Belfiore and Anna Upchurch have assembled a stellar set of contributions from the humanities. Together they make a powerful and persuasive case for why investing in the humanities has never been more vital.'- James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy, University of Sussex, UK, and former Director of Science Policy at the Royal Society, UK'Every crisis needs its critics. Here Belfiore and Upchurch have assembled an impressive and diverse range of voices to analyse the state of the Humanities today and tomorrow. They are not content to make another plaintive justification of the study of thought and culture. Rather, they ask how the conditions of the contemporary world are transforming the Humanities and their space within the University. The essays here explore the possibility of another Humanities beyond traditional models of historicism and scholarship, while offering an alternative to the simple and uncritical utilization of human knowledge in the name of the market. The work of this volume marks an opening for continued and productive debate for another Humanities for the twenty-first century.' - Professor Martin McQuillan, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University, London 'In an age when debates about arts and humanities' societal value are commonly characterised by confusion, self-interest, assertion and anecdote, Belfiore & Upchurch provide a landmark contribution that cuts straight through this conceptual mess to the heart of what matters about humanities' value. Humanities in the 21st Century marshals an impressive and well argued collection of essays that pinpoint and make accessible current debates' breadth and depth in a satisfying and rigorous way. At the heart of the book lies an engaging, well-written and thoroughly contextualised set of empirical contributions. Under the editors' guiding hand, these cohere into a definitive yet persuasive document of record, critically dissecting today's public discourse of the 'luxury of humanities'. This volume is vital reading for any scholar or policy-maker seeking to get beyond contemporary lazy simplifications to fully appreciate the manifold ways humanities scholarship underpins our wider societal wellbeing.' - Dr Paul Benneworth, Principal Researcher and leader of the Humanities in the European Research Area's HERAVALUE project, University of Twente, the Netherlands '...this is a superb work that forms a solid starting point for thinking about the future of the humanities in the twenty-first century.' - Martin Eve, Textual Practice