Winter 2014

What Humanists Do

What do humanists do? What value does their work create–for their students, for themselves, and for society? The Winter 2014 issue of Dædalus, the Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, suggests that humanists help us better understand ourselves and the world around us. Through analysis and personal reflection, the contributors to the issue demonstrate how the humanities improve our humanity.

The issue is guest edited by Denis Donoghue, a professor of Irish, English, and American literature at New York University. Donoghue asked contributors to identify a text that has had great influence on their lives and work, and to discuss that text in relation to their growth as scholars, artists, and human beings. Spanning time and genre – from the Latin epic the Aeneid to Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved – the essays contribute to our understanding of what it means to closely read a text, to grow our critical and analytic minds, and to understand our place in the world.

Image:
"Figurine entre deux boîtes qui sont des maisons." Alberto Giacometti, sculpture. CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. © 2013 by Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY.
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Sculpture of man walking through empty space
Image:
"Figurine entre deux boîtes qui sont des maisons." Alberto Giacometti, sculpture. CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY. © 2013 by Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY.