Dean Julie Mostov was an invited panelist at “The ‘Crisis’ Humanities, and the Digital Humanities? New Directions in the Humanities,” hosted by the NYU Center for the Humanities on November 14, 2017. The panel featured leading scholars from NYU to examine the future of digital humanities scholarship.
Dean Mostov disputed the notion that the humanities are in crisis. She noted that academic interest in the humanities has not lessened, but rather, has become more interdisciplinary. “Humanities courses are now found across the university: in everything from design schools and engineering to public health,” Mostov said. “So there may be fewer students in traditional humanities departments, but more students taking humanities in other places, grappling with thorny issues in a widening range of disciplines.”
Mostov argued the humanities are more relevant than ever in contending with contemporary challenges. Emerging technologies, globalization, and climate change, for instance, bring uncharted questions that must be explored through the lens of the human experience. As such, humanities students are among the best prepared for the changing job market. “With rapidly changing technology, which students will be ready to adapt and innovate?” asked Mostov. “Our interdisciplinary readers of new texts and new narratives, students of history able to confront the causes of current ills and look into the future to solutions, nimble minds who can ask the right questions… those trained in the humanities.”
All the panelists emphasized the potential of the digital humanities to foster new approaches to the discipline. Panelist Marion Thain, Director of Digital Humanities and Clinical Professor of Liberal Studies, argued for the digital humanities to embrace more risk and imagination in order to expand humanities work.
Other panelists included Gigi Dopico, Dean of the Humanities in Arts and Science; David Hoover, Professor of English; and David Wrisley, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Read more about the event from the NYU Center for the Humanities.