American Council of Learned Societies
Occasional Paper No. 10




Narrative and the Making of History
by Peter Conn

Contemporary Challenges to Traditional Categories of Analysis in Art History: The Margins and the Centers
by Thomas Crow

Categories of Analysis? Not In My Book
by Barbara Jeanne Fields

Humanities Graduate Education and the Undergraduate Curriculum: Concert or Conflict
by Ernest S. Frerichs

Texts, Contexts, and Contingency
by David Hollinger

The “West,” the Liberal Arts, and General Education
by Sabine MacCormack

The Humanistic Intellectual: Eleven Theses
by Richard Rorty

Queen for a Day
by Catharine R. Stimpson


On March 16-18, 1989, ACLS and the National Humanities Center sponsored a conference at the Center’s graceful building in Research Triangle, North Carolina. The conference was supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The theme of the conference was “The Humanities in the 1990s: Perspectives on the Liberal Arts, Research, and Education.”

Despite its grandiose title, the conference was a success. The level of conversation, both in the formal sessions and outside them, was very high, and the sponsors agreed that some attempt ought to be made to extend those exchanges beyond the necessarily limited group of scholars, university administrators, and foundation officials fortunate enough to gather in North Carolina last spring

Stephen Graubard’s keynote address, “The Agenda for the Humanities and Higher Education for the 21st Century,” appeared as the eighth in ACLS’s series of Occasional Papers. This tenth Occasional Paper offers several of the other conference presentations that raise particularly important and, we believe, pressing questions for the entire humanities community in this country The selection of material to be included in this publication was particularly difficult because the quality of all the discussions at the conference was so uniformly high. In selecting material for inclusion we have aimed to represent the conference proceedings by choosing what seemed to us to be the main issues that received discussion. Other participants might well have made other choices.

ACLS has prepared a summary of the individual sessions which, while not suitable for publication, can be obtained upon request. ACLS invites commentary from readers upon these and other issues facing the humanities in the next decade. If the volume of such commentary is sufficient, ACLS will consider publishing it in another Occasional Paper or in the ACLS Newsletter. For the moment, our colleagues at the National Humanities Center join us in recording our gratitude to all the participants in the conference and to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.