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Re: The Future of the History Major

Thanks, Ginger, for adding an important materialist perspective to this conversation.
It's not just sports writers who benefit from the axiom: follow the money.
You framed your comments in terms of political economy; I'd push that even further toward an old-school historial materialism (however unfashionable these days). Unless we understand the basis of survival for high ed institutions, our students, and their families, we can't imagine how to change course during a period of tumultuous change.

Re: The Future of the History Major

I would be more convinced by that argument if history majors were rising at conservative schools like mine. I work at a Baptist affiliated university in Alabama. My colleagues are largely white men, few of whom have liberal leanings on issues of gender and class. For instance, I had to fight to get a single woman author offered in the "great books" course we teach first year students, and that one woman was dropped last year. My students are all extremely conservative as well.

Re: The Future of the History Major

No doubt economic anxieties have fueled the trends the article discusses. However, I agree with the curmudgeons here. Or I think I do. My view is that cultural forces today seem profoundly hostile to the kind of history thinking history teachers ought to be fostering. And unfortunately, I think far too many in the profession sail on the surface of those forces. I mean cultural forces insisting that we today have achieved a truth that eluded all previous societies (even including our own just ten years ago, say).

CFP DEADLINE APPROACHING: (Re)Writing Global Histories: Movement, Memory, and Materiality Graduate Conference

Northeastern University’s 11th Annual History Graduate Conference

(Re)Writing Global Histories: Movement, Memory, and Materiality


March 23-24, 2019

Boston, MA, USA

Keynote: Zara Anishanslin, Assistant Professor of History and Art History at the UNiversity of Delaware