Humanities professors are their own worst enemies Virtually all the ills plaguing the modern humanities—declining enrollment, loss of funding, fewer tenure-track jobs, decreased public appreciation—have been caused primarily by the people who study and teach them, the humanists.
Every time I read an op-ed piece from some English professor (and isn’t it always an English professor?) whining about the demise of the humanities, in The Chronicle of Higher Education or elsewhere, I’m reminded of that great scene from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
You know the one. As Anakin Skywalker and his erstwhile friend and mentor turned mortal enemy Obi-Wan Kenobi engage in an epic lightsaber duel, Anakin accuses Obi-Wan of being responsible for the recent disasters in his life, including the loss of his beloved Princess Padme.
Obi-Wan regards Anakin stoically then delivers one of the best lines in the entire saga: “You have done that yourself.”