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  • Zachary Mazur

NextGen Humanities Podcast

I'm writing today to announce that I've decided to join the multitudes of podcasters out there in the world.

I know, I know, another podcast, another person who thinks that they have something sooo important to share with the world. I hope that this is not the case.

On the NextGen Humanities podcast I'll be speaking with early career scholars in history, philosophy, literature and other disciplines about their work, about what drives them and about how their scholarship can shed light on the world we live in today. There are a lot of reasons for me wanting to start this endeavor, but I'll just explain my main motivations, starting with where we are as recent PhDs trying to forge a pathway forward.

It's no secret that the academic job market is very competitive these days. There are dwindling numbers of full time positions for assistant professors with the possibility of earning tenure one day. Universities and colleges, especially in the United States, have also started to move away from liberal arts education, with its emphasis on the humanities, critical thinking and writing. Some schools have even merged their history, philosophy, literature and language departments into a single Humanities department. Perhaps this is the future we face. But with this I see two huge problems that I'd like to address:

First, there are amazing scholars out there who are not getting the recognition and attention they deserve. This is happening for many reasons, the job market is partly to blame though.

Second, as interest in the humanities might be dwindling at the level of university administrators, I think it's time to reassert the importance of these subjects. The humanities are not only key in a philosophical sense, about understanding what it means to be human or understanding the world we live in. I think these topics must also be shared with students. Natural scientists, engineers, computer programmers and all the rest need to learn the skills of writing and thinking that come with a strong humanities education.

So my hope is that the podcast can start to address some of these concerns, that it can be a place to showcase scholars whose work should be more widely known and that through these conversations we can highlight the importance of the humanities for our rapidly changing world.

You can check out the first episode on iTunes and Spotify or at the podcast's website.

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