The utility of the arts and humanities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Artists and humanists who work in universities are generally ambivalent about the idea of defending their enterprises in terms of social utility: on the one hand they do not want to claim that the Arts and Humanities are such exalted and self-justifying endeavors that no one need bother explaining why such things are worth pursuing, yet on the other hand they are rightly skeptical that cost-benefit analyses of academic labor will do justice to disciplines devoted to the varieties of human cultural expression rather than to the research and development of patentable forms of knowledge. This essay explores this ambivalence and suggests an alternative way of thinking about the 'utility' of cultural work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of 'The utility of the arts and humanities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this