Humanities and the Future of MIT Education
To The Faculty Newsletter:
In the article on “The Future of MIT Education” (MIT Faculty Newsletter, Vol. XXVII No.2, November/December 2014) authors Sanjay Sarma, Karen Willcox, and Israel Ruiz state:
“Accordingly, the two central tensions that are clear in the Future of MIT Education report and in the summary on these pages are those between the direct encounter of students with dedicated teachers, and the deep value of direct hands-on engagement in the processes of science and engineering.”
May I remind the authors and anyone else who might need reminding that there are five Schools at MIT, three of which are not engaged in science and engineering?
I have taught at MIT since 1972 and have experienced many examples of this kind of invisibilization of my scholarly and pedagogical identity and mission during that time. I know that many of my colleagues in SHASS have as well (and, probably, in the School of Architecture and Planning and Sloan School of Management).
In these three Schools we study and teach about politics, economics, linguistics, philosophy, literature in numerous languages, film and media studies, anthropology, history, urban studies, architecture, music, theater arts, and much, much more.
The material world is important, but it is not the only world we need to know about.
Jean E. Jackson