POST: What Crisis in the Humanities? Interactive Historical Data on College Majors


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Mark Sample has written a post challenging the recent New York Times article tracing the decline in humanities majors at American universities using data collected by Ben Schmidt of Northeastern University in this interactive graph. While Schmidt’s data is in the aggregate, one can break down the data more granularly to better understand trends in undergraduate majors that counters the narrative of the humanities in crisis. Sample concludes that, “Clearly we should be doing more to counter the perception that the humanities—and by extension, the liberal arts—are in crisis mode. My own experience in the classroom doesn’t support this notion, and neither does the data.”

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Jolie Braun, Lauren Gottlieb-Miller, Jody Perkins, and Krista White (Editors-at-large for the week), Caro Pinto (Editor for the week), and Zach Coble and Roxanne Shirazi (dh+lib Review Editors).