My rating: 3 of 5 stars.
There is no question but that the humanities are under fire. Budgets are being cut, sometimes whole departments. How then to justify the humanities within the university, without accepting â€œinstrumentalizationâ€, a term thrown around much in this book, which means roughly, being able to demonstrate some â€œdeliverableâ€ or bottom line worth.
Peter Brooks, the editor of the book,and organizer of the symposium from which the articles and discussion in this book was drawn, starts with the â€œTorture Memosâ€, a series of Justice Department documents from the second Bush administration that justified waterboarding and other forms of torture against detainees deemed to be â€œdangerousâ€ to national security. Brooks believes this to be the result of poor and unethical reading by those who formulated these memos (an assumption I question), and something that the humanities fundamentally address. [Read more…] about Book Review: The Humanities and Public Life