The Importance of the Humanities

October 5, 2018

Many of our greatest works of literature and art are studded with wreckage and reversals, challenging our so-called ‘knowledge,’ as well as our assumptions, by prioritizing sentience and subjectivity. Today’s information-culture, with its algorithms and electronic immediacy, is locked out of the actual reaches and texture of lived experience. Acclaimed Brown University professor Arnold Weinstein argues that the Humanities show us who we are.


Arnold Louis Weinstein, PhD is the Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University where he has taught since 1968. He received his B.A. from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University, in addition to studies at the Sorbonne, the Free University of Berlin, and the University of Lyon. He has been a Fulbright professor in Stockholm, and Visiting Professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. His honors include three fellowships from the NEH, as well as two teaching awards from Brown University. He has written eight books – on American, European, and Scandinavian literature and culture – as well as countless articles, and his work has been nominated for many prizes, including the Pulitzer in nonfiction. He has also delivered some 300 lectures on world literature produced in CD and DVD format at The Teaching Company.

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Categories: Featured, Literature & Poetry