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Blow Up the Humanities Paperback – August 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (August 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439909830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439909836
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Miller analyzes the decline of the humanities in American university education, drawing connections to economic downturns and the growing demand for more practical studies, such as government and economics." Publishers Weekly, July 30th 2012 "Miller's distinctions and evidence ... provide an intriguing point of entry into current debates concerning the humanities... Miller's suggestions for renewal in the humanities not only have the potential to re-energize the humanities, but also to offer a way out of the crisis in the humanities." - symploke "Miller takes a lively, well-researched look at the dilemma facing the modern humanities... Summing Up: Recommended."--Choice, February 2013

Book Description

A short, sharp, and provocative book, Blow Up the Humanities has esteemed scholar Toby Miller declaring that there are two humanities in the United States. One is the venerable, powerful humanities of private universities; the other is the humanities of state schools, which focus mainly on job prospects. There is a class division between the two—both in terms of faculty research and student background—and it must end.

Miller critically lays waste to the system. He examines scholarly publishing as well as media and cultural studies to show how to restructure the humanities by studying popular cultural phenomena, like video games. Miller ultimately insists that these two humanities must merge in order to survive and succeed in producing an aware and concerned citizenry.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Laurence Raw on December 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this short text Toby Miller, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, examines in detail why the humanities in American universities seem so moribund (at worst), or detached from the realities of everyday life (at best). He believes that free-market economics has led to a view of the humanities-as-commodity, which - rather like the fable of the Emperor's New Clothes - has led to a prioritizing of style over substance. At the same time the humanities tended to be dominated by the kind of elitist thinking - associated with Matthew Arnold - that values literature (and associated 'traditional' subjects) and denigrates subjects like media and/or communication studies. He calls for a more all-encompassing view of the humanities, that allows for academics of different specialisms to collaborate with one another on new and innovative research projects. Miller's writing is consistently entertaining: I may disagree with some of what he says, but the book is compelling (and important) reading.
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