Tag Archive for Tourism

College Admissions and the Commodification of Experience

When ivy dies.

When ivy dies.

The academic social-media-o-sphere has been abuzz for the past couple of weeks with discussion of William Deresiewicz’s piece in the New Republic entitled “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.”  The piece was an obvious piece of clickbait (as Salon put it in their subheading, “it’s all such excellent sport: graduating from great colleges, then creating click-bait telling other people not to”), but it raised some issues that are important in higher education circles, especially in the context of the mounting so-called “war on college” that is increasingly coming from both ends of the political spectrum.  Deresiewicz’s basic thesis is that “elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”  In other words, the hyper-competitive world of hyper-elite American higher education is creating achievement robots rather than thoughtful people, and providing credentials rather than education.  The elite system has so thoroughly lost its way, Deresiewicz argues, that parents should, gasp, send their children to public universities. Read more

What the Digital Humanities Can Do

meme-say-digital-humanities-one-more-timeIf you’re like me, you’ve been hearing about Digital Humanities for a long time, without totally understanding what the term means.  Or, more precisely, without totally understanding what of real value the “digital” can add to the “humanities.”  The Digital Humanities can do lots of things, I am assured, but my problem has always been imagining exactly what those things are, and more importantly, what their payoff is.  This blog post (h/t Kevin) does the best job I’ve seen so far of collecting and explaining high-quality examples of what the Digital Humanities can do.  As a historian of tourism, I’m particularly enamored of the project mapping the Green Book.  Highly recommended.

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