I don’t think we should be concerned about the loss of traditional historical categories or courses. We are on the whole much better off for the much richer array of subject matter now offered by history departments. What is wrong is the overly technical orientation of our undergraduate courses. We should be very worried about both the hyperspecialization of both historians and their courses, which are increasingly based on narrow research interests and decreasingly based upon either student interest or need. It would be a good time for history departments to reconsider how their courses contribute to the liberal education of undergraduates rather than to the research needs of their faculty. And of course if we rethought our courses, we might select faculty in a very different manner.More.
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