Defining the Humanities

Defining the Humanities : How Rediscovering a Tradition Can Improve Our Schools, Second Edition With a Curriculum for Today's Students

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Think of this as `The Thinking Man's Bloom' or `The Thinking Woman's Closing of the American Mind.' It takes up debates about education and reasons about them, where Bloom often only blasted away.... This is one of the more helpful recent statements of the case for the classics, accompanied by rather venturesome curricular suggestions." -Christian CenturyHis exciting readable book calls for a return to a study of the classics-and of the Renaissance poets and scholars, like Petrarch, who rediscovered the classics." -Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World... a splendid statement bringing together in a careful and coherent way the prospects for a solid humanities curriculum." -Ernest L. BoyerTen years ago when this book was first published it was called Education's Great Amnesia: Reconsidering the Humanities from Petrarch to Freud. It is being reissued now in a second edition with a different title for a new generation of readers who cannot have forgotten what they never knew. What are the humanities? Can we agree on a core curriculum of humanistic studies? Robert Proctor answers these questions in a provocative, readable book.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 17.78mm | 408.23g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • 0253212197
  • 9780253212191
  • 1,460,625

About Robert E. Proctor

Robert E. Proctor is Professor of Italian at Connecticut College, where he has also served as Provost and Dean of the Faculty, and as Founding Director of the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts. He has been a Fellow of Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy, and of the National Humanities Institute at Yale University.show more

Review quote

"Think of this as 'The Thinking Man's Bloom' or 'The Thinking Woman's Closing of the American Mind.' It takes up debates about education and reasons about them, where Bloom often only blasted away... This is one of the more helpful recent statements of the case for the classics, accompanied by rather venturesome curricular suggestions." Christian Century "His exciting readable book calls for a return to a study of the classics - and of the Renaissance poets and scholars, like Petrarch, who rediscovered the classics." Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World " ... a splendid statement bringing together in a careful and coherent way the prospects for a solid humanities curriculum." Ernest L. Boyer "For the first time, in my estimation, has a scholar succeeded in showing the relation of humanistic studies to the personal and social life of the ancient world and of the Renaissance. He...indicates the possibilities of bringing back an effective relationship between what is taught in our colleges and universities and the ethical perspectives of their graduates." Charles Trinkaus " Curriculum for Today is a splendid statement bringing together in a careful and coherent way the prospects for a solid humanities curriculum." Ernest L. Boyer "Proctor's book is consistently engaging, scholarly, and humane ...an excellent place to begin discussions of the role of the university and the place of liberal education within it." Teaching Sociology "...a stimulating treatment of a profoundly important subject, which addresses fundamental questions about the moral purpose of education in the humanities." Speculum " ...a splendid analysis of the history of the humanities. Its virtues are multiple... It is profound in its induction, stimulating in its aims and purposes, and a book to be weighed carefully by scholars of the humanities, historians, and teachers in liberal arts programs and humanities studies." The History Teachershow more

Table of contents

Preface to the Second EditionIntroductionPart One: The Birth of the HumanitiesThe Humanist Transformation of Classical AntiquityPetrarch and the Origins of the HumanitiesCicero in Grief: The Classical Soul RevealedAncient and Modern Categories of ThoughtPart Two: The Death of the Humanities in the Modern WorldDegeneration from WithinChange from WithoutPart Three: Looking ForwardLessons from the RenaissanceThe Relevance of the AncientsA Curriculum for TodayEpilogueAppendix: The Humanities and International StudiesNotesWorks CitedIndexshow more

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