The time has come to ask: If this is what the humanities have become, should they continue to exist?
We have sat patiently and politely through talks read line by line in a monotone voice by a speaker who doesn’t look up once, wondering why we couldn’t have read the paper ourselves in advance with a much greater level of absorption.
We have tried to ignore the lack of a thesis or even one interesting sentence in a 20-minute talk.
Our jaws have hung in disbelief as a speaker tries to squeeze a 30-minute talk into a 20-minute slot by reading too fast to be understood.
We have been one of two attendees at a panel.
We have suffered in silence while someone, for the duration of their talk, simply lists the appearances of a certain theme in a novel.
Our faces have twitched as our colleagues pretend they’ve understood a speaker’s academese..."