October 12, 2019 update: The current bibliography is a work-in-progress. A fully-tagged, searchable library of approximately 350 articles will be available in the next month or two. Most of the entries here are bibliographically complete, but the tagging structure and search functions are under construction. The default display is a browsable collection presented in the order articles were entered into the database.
This is a bibliographic index, not a database, and so you will find unavoidable inconsistencies in whether links lead to full texts or subscription paywalls. We designed the tagging structure based on trends in the collection of articles and assumptions about potential users’ interests. One strand was to identify the types of problems “the humanities” face -- whether in institutional settings or in terms of public perception -- as well as ideas for ameliorating those problems (see the first three tag groups). Another key question is: what kinds of employment are available to those who major in humanities subjects, and what constitutes “successful” career paths for them? The answer may not be a job title but rather a set of transferable skills. Our tags in “Career Paths” reflect this distinction and cover various career tracks as well as skills that humanities study yields; this skills tag includes articles discussing fields that find particular skills desirable.
The section “Recurring Themes” in part reveals the general limitations of a tagging system, which attempts to build a concrete taxonomy of brief terms to represent ideas that are often based on nuance, interpretive arguments, and clarifying prose. For example, it was easy to guess that many people would be interested in the subset of articles that make claims on the basis of quantifiable information such as salary figures, enrollment trends, myriad statistics, or other numbers-based data. However, we found it extraordinarily difficult to come up with a parallel tag phrase to “data,” one that would succinctly indicate the subset of articles making claims on the basis of the power of words rather than numbers. In the end, we have called this category “narrative thinking,” in an effort to encapsulate qualitative, intrinsic, and/or interpretive-driven analyses of the value of humanities subjects and study.
This is, of course, a false dichotomy, since data tells no story on its own and must be interpreted: what do those numbers mean? is a question that can only be answered with a narrative. Numbers alone do not “prove” things; narratives are not “just feelings.” But these are two handy, if imprecise, shorthand terms for the kinds of evidence people marshal to support their claims -- and so, for now, we are stuck with them. (If you have a better tag idea than “narrative thinking,” I would love to hear from you!) You should expect to find that good arguments based on data (and tagged as such here) also include careful narrative interpretations of the data, and that compelling narrative arguments may in fact refer to numbers and statistics by way of making their larger points. We have thus assigned these tags based on the relative weight given to each in any given article; some articles will have both tags.
This index would not have been possible without the thoughtful conceptual help and the meticulous bibliographic and tagging work of Ruby Elliott Zuckerman, as well as the technological assistance of Brooke Schmolke. I am deeply grateful to both of them. The plugins used to create this index are: Zotero, Tabs--Responsive Tabs with Accordions, and Accordions by PickPlugins.
Other Online Resources that you may find of interest can be found here: [link coming soon]