Beth Holmgren, Sumathi Ramaswamy & Audience | Response to Faisal Devji’s “Humanities After Humanism”

April 24, 2015
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At the Global Humanities inter-departmental seminar, Duke faculty Beth Holmgren (Slavic and Eurasian Studies) and Sumathi Ramaswamy (History) share their thoughts on “The Humanities After Humanism,” a “think piece” authored by Faisal Devji (Oxford) and delivered in absentia by Ramaswamy. A lively discussion with the audience ensues. Touching upon the university, liberal society and the globe as sites in which the humanities locate themselves, Faisal’s essay argues that the traditional subject of humanist reflection needs to be rethought. He asks how an esoteric approach to scholarship might constitute a productive necessity for the humanities, serving to question the academy’s public role as much as its traditional duty of cultivating a private individual.