Humanities scholars shirking professional obligations to the detriment of the field: Editorial

The unwillingness of humanities professors to commit to professional obligations is harming the humanities, writes Dr Steven Mintz for Inside Higher Ed. Mintz discusses how humanities professors refuse to provide volunteer labour such as editing articles and book manuscripts, reviewing tenure and promotion files, attending professional meetings, and even writing recommendation letters. Mintz argues that this stems from an individualistic “out-for-themselves” ethic that humanities scholars have adopted since the 1960s, when they started identifying with their discipline instead of their department or students. He suggests that professional organizations, colleges, and departments must reaffirm and incentivize the execution of professional duties; that departments need to do more to foster a sense of community; and that institutions need to define a concrete collective mission that moves professors to collective action. Inside Higher Ed Note: Archived stories may contain dead links or be missing source links.

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