The End of the English Major
ABC 160: On the loss of the humanities
Before college, I was already passionate about writing. I chose where I went to school in part because of the strength of its writing program. And yet, I didn’t major in English. Instead, I chose to major in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics because I thought it would make it easier to get a job.
My logic is apparently in vogue. Over the past decade, students studying English and History have fallen by over a third in the U.S. At Harvard, for example, only seven percent of last year’s freshmen planned to major in the humanities, down from twenty percent in 2012. The question of this week’s article is why.
Especially at a place like Harvard where—in the author’s words, “graduates who major in somersaults will be able to find some kind of job to pay the bills”—the precipitous decline of students interested in the humanities is concerning. What are the downstream effects of a generation of students with less education in the human past than any that has come before?
This piece set the internet ablaze when it came out a few days ago. I’m excited for you to develop an opinion of your own, that is if anyone still reads anymore.
Here’s the piece: The End of the English Major
I got my first peek at the book jacket and I love it!
I’m in the process of setting up press for launch week (May 23rd)! Please let me know if you’re friends with Oprah (or other journalists/podcasters/TV folks who might be interested in the topic).