American Council of Learned Societies
Occasional Paper No. 44

The Humanist on Campus:
Continuity and Change

by John H. D'Arms


The Humanist on Campus—and Off-Kilter
by Robert Weisbuch, Moderator

In My Time
by Denis Donoghue

Tradition Confronts Change: The Place of the
Humanities in the University

by Lynn Hunt

Humanism, Bio-cultural Diversity, and
Our Unfinished National Project

by Lucius Outlaw

Coming Home: Institutional Loyalty in an
Expanding Academic Universe

by Judith Shapiro


Denis Donoghue is Henry James Professor of English and American Letters and University Professor at New York University. He received degrees from University College, Dublin, where he served as Professor of Modern English and American literature. Later, he served as University Lecturer in English at Cambridge University and was a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. Professor Donoghue has held numerous lectureships, including most recently the Alexander Lectureship at the University of Toronto and the Charles Stewart Parnell Lectureship in Irish Studies at Magdalen College, Cambridge. His books include Connoisseurs of Chaos: Ideas of Order in Modern American Poetry; Yeats; Ferocious Alphabets; We Irish: The Pure Good of Theory; Walter Pater: Lover of Strange Souls; and The Practice of Reading. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Royal Society of Literature, and has won fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Professor Donoghue was an ACLS American Studies Fellow in 1963-64.

Lynn Hunt is Annenberg Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She received degrees in History from Carleton College and Stanford University. She is the author of the prize-winning Revolution and Urban Politics in Provincial France: Troyes and Reims, 17861790; Politics, Culture and Class in the French Revolution; and The Family Romance of the French Revolution, and has edited a number of volumes, including The New Cultural History; The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity; and Histories: French Constructions of the Past. She has served as president of the Society for French Historical Studies and on the advisory board of the Stanford Humanities Center. Professor Hunt has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has won fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Professor Hunt was an ACLS Fellow in 1979-80.

Lucius Outlaw is T. Wistar Brown Professor and former Chair of Philosophy at Haverford College. He recently served two years as The Honorable David S. Nelson Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, where he earned his doctorate after being awarded his B.A. at Fisk University. A Danforth Associate, he has been a distinguished visiting professor at many colleges and universities including The New School for Music in Philadelphia, and Spelman, Howard, and Hamilton Colleges. A scholar of African and of African-American philosophy, Professor Outlaw also has strong interests in continental phenomenology and hermeneutics and in social and political philosophy. A collection of his essays entitled On Race and Philosophy was published by Routledge in 1996. He is currently at work on a volume entitled Race, Reason, and Order. Professor Outlaw was an ACLS Fellow in 1995-96.

Judith Shapiro is President of Barnard College. An anthropologist whose degrees are from Brandeis and Columbia Universities, she has had an important influence on the development of Women's Studies and has written extensively on sexuality and gender. Before assuming the Barnard presidency, she taught for many years at Bryn Mawr College, serving as Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Acting Dean of the Undergraduate College, and eight years as Provost. She has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Women's Forum, and the National Advisory Committee of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation; has served as Chair of the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, as President of the American Ethnological Society, and on the Boards of the American Anthropological Association, Survival International, and the Fund for the City of New York. She has won fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the American Council of Learned Societies. President Shapiro was an ACLS Fellow in 1981-82.

Robert Weisbuch (Moderator) is President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. He received degrees in English from Wesleyan University and Yale University. Before assuming the presidency of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in 1997, he had a long association with the University of Michigan, where he began his teaching career in 1972, later serving as Chair of the English Department and Associate Vice-President for Research. He went on to serve as Associate Dean for Faculty Programs and Interim Dean of the University's Rackham School of Graduate Studies. He continues to hold the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship for Professorial Excellence. His books include Emily Dickinson's Poetry and Atlantic Double-Cross: American Literature and British Influence in the Age of Emerson. He is currently at work on American Radio: A History of Programs and Programming, a book and audiotape set to be published by The University of Wisconsin Press. President Weisbuch was an ACLS Fellow in 1976-77.

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John H. D'Arms
American Council of Learned Societies

The public program of the 1998 ACLS Annual Meeting considered the place of the Humanist on campus and explored aspects of continuity and change. Our four panelists and moderator all received ACLS Fellowships at some point in their careers: we think it appropriate to publicize this fact, since our more than 4,000 ACLS Fellows constitute a powerful academic presence on their campuses, valued both for the distinctiveness of their voices as well as for their notable contributions as scholars and as educators.

In a thoughtful study of the research university in the Fall 1993 issue of Daedalus, Jonathan Cole observed that the sense of connectedness between scholars and their campuses is weaker today than at any point in the past. We encouraged panelists to address the questions: what forces cement, what forces attenuate, the ties between the scholar and the campus? What changes are detectable over time, and what signs of impending change might be noted as we look to the future?

Other questions present themselves. What do we mean today by an "academic community" and how do Humanists contribute to it? Might one helpfully distinguish between "cosmopolitan" tendencies of scholars and scholarship (list-servs and other electronic forms of communication among scholars, the proliferation of scholarly conferences and meetings, not just off-campus but around the world, much of this broadening but much of it facilitating the creation of even more scholarly sub-groups and specialized discourses) and "local" ties (mainly, but far from exclusively, to departments, which increasingly have become only appointing and administrative units, not intellectual centers)? Is it reasonable to suppose that effective, self-confident institutions are those in which "cosmopolitan" scholars are also "local" scholars, participating actively in institutional life?

What impact have campus-based Humanities Centers—now nearly 90 in number—had in improving scholarly communication and understanding across fields and departments, and upon the undergraduate and graduate curricula? Do graduate education and scholarship operate as centrifugal forces, driving faculty away from a sense of basic institutional purpose? Are Humanities faculty willing to/capable of working collaboratively to shape the overall curriculum of the first two undergraduate years, and if so, to participate actively in the more synthetic, integrative course offerings that they shape? Lynn Hunt's essay in What's Happened to the Humanities (A. Kernan, ed., Princeton, 1997) raises a number of suggestive questions. About academic demography and labor markets, for example: what are the implications of Humanities fields' successfully attracting greater numbers of women into the academy, but failing to attract greater numbers of minorities? Or, to the degree that the recent "theoretical turn" in humanistic scholarship is largely generational, what will successfully bridge the divide between junior and senior colleagues, especially since the older forms of academic socialization (including senior faculty offering hospitality to younger colleagues) have given way to a world of two-career households, and to the disappearance of spouses or partners able to take the time to entertain? And, pertinent to all of the above: does institutional typology require us to think differently about the above questions? That is to say, how far are conditions prevailing on research university campuses valid also in liberal arts colleges, or in community colleges?

Of course, it is easy enough to raise such questions, and to sail serenely past the controversies inherent in nearly all of them. Our panelists and our moderator-as was to have been expected-engaged some of these issues, ignored others, and (best of all) introduced additional themes well worth our attention. The ACLS is grateful to them all, and is pleased to present their contributions in this Occasional Paper.

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