ACLS President Joy Connolly contributed an essay to the Spring 2020 edition of Academe on the important historical contributions and continuing need for the humanities in higher education and in sustaining a healthy societal culture.
“Institutions of higher education are where societies develop alternatives and incubate change. Conse­quently, the quality of free conversation on campus about complex topics matters enormously. I believe we can combat what Richard Hofstadter once called the “national disrespect for mind” in the United States, but we must do it in conversation, with some capacity for forgiveness and active enthusiasm for disagreement, with like-minded friends and with sometimes-dissenting allies of convenience: student with faculty member, professor with administrator, scholar with society, university with society—all with the aim of protecting the academic freedom that helps us think differently, think the unthinkable.”
Read the full essay here.