The humanities, vocationalism and the public good: exploring 'the Hamlet factor'

Wright, L.S. (2007) The humanities, vocationalism and the public good: exploring 'the Hamlet factor'. The English Academy Review: Southern African Journal of English Studies, 24 (1). pp. 102-117. ISSN 1013-1752



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This paper argues that the social mission of the humanities is no longer well understood by the public, sometimes not even by the very institutions seeking to attract students to these disciplines, the universities. It becomes difficult to argue for the cogency of research in the humanities, let alone for a specific national research agenda, when the general relation between the humanities and society is widely mistaken. To address such misapprehensions, the discussion outlines as clearly as possible the characteristic procedures of the humanities, the manner in which they inform individual and social transformation, and the contemporary predicament which makes them more rather than less needed in society’s repertoire of educational resources. With this understanding in place, the paper then puts forward suggestions for strengthening research in the humanities as part of a broader programme to renovate the humanities in the South African education system.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:humanities, science; social sciences; vocationalism, public good, Canada; South Africa, Hamlet, education, Tertiary education; Higher education; university, universities; text; language; perceptions; South Africa; Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)
ID Code:1036
Deposited By: Prof Laurence Wright
Deposited On:23 Jul 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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