Recent high-profile reports from both Harvard University and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences suggest that the humanities as an academic discipline is under siege. The most eye-catching statistic from Harvard's report notes that the number of humanities majors has been cut in half over the past forty-five years. For one of these reports, technology is potentially part of the problem. Harvard's "Mapping the Future" raises the possibility that technological advances are making the skills engendered by the study of the humanities obsolete. By contrast, the AAAS argues that technology will be crucial to bringing the study of the humanities to new populations.
In this "Talk" session, I propose that we discuss the both the contents and the ramifications of these two reports with respect to the relationship between the humanities and technology. Can technology save the humanities? Does technology endanger the humanities' long-term survival? Or are reports of the humanities' demise exaggerated?