The Humanities in the Post-Capitalist University

Event Date: 

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Center for 21st Century Studies
  • Curtin 118
  • Lecture/Workshop

The humanities disciplines have been asked to defend their value yet again, and various projects have risen to the task. Many of these defenses take the form of showing that the humanities have positive economic impacts.

In this talk, Christopher Newfield argues that these defenses are futile and misguided, in large part because they are claiming to have adapted to a capitalist economy in the very moment in which it has reached a historical limit. This talk first discusses the arguments that favor the end of the current model of industrial innovation towards which the “practical” humanities is oriented. It then identifies elements of past and current humanities practice that will address the needs of the emerging, more sustainable, post-Western-capitalist society.

Brown bag lunch with Christopher Newfield
Thursday, April 24
12 noon, Curtin 939
Reading: Christopher Newfield, "Where Are the Savings?" [on Udacity-Georgia Tech MOOCs], Inside Higher Ed, June 21, 2013.

The Center for 21st Century Studies (C21), a UW System Center of Excellence at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee campus, leads the way in imagining, defining, and creating the burgeoning field of 21st century studies, focusing on the intersection of the humanities, arts, and sciences (social and natural) with issues of compelling concern.

C21 supports the study of the 21st century, which means in the first instance studies of the future, present, and very recent past—issues of pressing concern for the 21st century. C21 also encourages contemporary, cutting-edge study of the arts, humanities, and social sciences in all fields, and at all historical periods. By studying what is distinctive about issues of the present or near future, we are able to rethink or reconceptualize our study of the past. Finally, C21 sponsors and supports the creation and deployment of 21st-century modes of research, analysis, and representation.