Generally in the media, the “survival of the humanities” is supposed to be imperiled by business interests’ and the general public’s rejection of high culture in favor of quick cash to be earned by technological prowess. Defensive accounts by humanities teachers tend to stress the spiritual or social-adjustment or vocational value of sampling literature and the arts.

Typically, such a teacher tells of giving a troubled, disadvantaged youth therapeutic nurture, including discussion of Catcher in the Rye or something in a caring,...

 

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