Thursday, September 24, 2015

Baltimore Needs the Humanities

Amy Wolfson, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and a professor of psychology at Loyola University-Baltimore, has turned to the pages of the Baltimore Sun to make a compelling argument as to why Baltimore (and every other city for that matter) needs the humanities.  I am glad to see an academic trained in the social sciences defend the humanities and their essential role in society.

Here is a taste of her op-ed:

In times of crisis, communities look not just to political leaders, but also to rabbis and pastors, teachers and essayists, historians and ethicists, and others steeped in the humanities to provide historical relevance, ethical guidance and other important narratives.

As a new resident of Baltimore, I was just beginning to feel at home in this culturally rich and wonderfully diverse town when unrest broke out in parts of the city this spring. Watching the city during that time not only deepened my appreciation for the strength of the Baltimore community, but also renewed my commitment to academia — and specifically at a university that emphasizes the importance of a liberal arts education, offering each of its students a solid foundation and appreciation for the humanities.

Why do the humanities matter in this moment? How can considering literature, history, language, philosophy, religion and art unite us and help us understand and resolve the conflicts and tensions present in our community today? Certainly no social problems are simple or straightforward.

Why do the humanities matter in this moment? How can considering literature, history, language, philosophy, religion and art unite us and help us understand and resolve the conflicts and tensions present in our community today? Certainly no social problems are simple or straightforward.