On Booth’s Dyshumanities

This is a response to an article by Wayne C. Booth entitled “An Arrogant Proposal: A New Use for the Dyshumanities.”

To be wholly honest, I don’t think I can choose just one “character” with which I identify; rather, I think each sermon points out something valid. Yes, I believe that some people’s monetary priorities lean in directions that aren’t entirely helpful to society, but I don’t necessarily believe that that’s why newly graduated PhDs aren’t getting hired. I do believe that college administrators have a knack for cutting the most important parts of a school and leaving the fat intact, but they’re not completely to blame. I liked the third sermon because of its application to someone to whom I’m close who has the unenviable task of hiring a new full-time faculty member, a privilege for which she had to fight because of an administration unwilling to spend money on a full-time hire rather than a handful of adjuncts. The last sermon, to me, comes off as a bit naive, which is ironic given the speaker. However, I love the idea of people being in the humanities for the sake of being there rather than using a humanities degree as a means to an end. Idealistically, that’s how all degrees should be, but the fact remains that society is fueled by money.

Again, each has reason but none is totally infallible. I’ll be interested to see how this is discussed in class because I’m on the fence about each “character.”


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