"This volume explores the impact of the new multimedia environment on the humanities—in higher education and the larger society. . . . Marc notes, 'empiricism has so utterly eclipsed intuitive, imaginative sensibility as a salient standard of truth in Western civilization that the humanities are treated as a kind of quaint ornament to real thinking.' . . . Sharp, stimulating, often controversial essays, including a thoughtful analysis of the history of TV criticism."—Booklist
"David Marc writes about television intelligently, with wit and real insight. . . . [He] hates what the humanities have become: a zone for turf wars between the trendy, who don't care about literature, and the anal retentives who prepare reading lists."—Voice literary Supplement
"A zippy jeremiad that berates the humanities for snobbishly failing to attend to society's most symptomatic medium. . . . With its tangents, autobiographical anecdotes, energy, indecorum, and voice, this book is for, as well as about, the TV age. . . . Marc is a provocative, worthy scion of Seldes and McLuhan."—Choice
This volume focuses on the relationship between the rise of the multi-media environment-television and electronic media-and the decline of the humanities in academia, the changing role of print literacy, and the disintegration of historical consciousness.
David Marc is as mad as hell about some things, and he’s not going to take it any longer. He finds that most university humanities programs remain top-heavy with embittered careerists who would rather deny the evidence than admit that, with the rise and popular acceptance of mass media, their most cherished interests, their techniques, and skills have become archaic. New students are treated as if they read and write as often, and for the same purposes, as their counterparts before the rise of the television camera, telephone, and communications satellite. Professors get paid. Students receive diplomas. And yet, humanities courses are the joke of the campus.
In analyzing the decline of the humanities on college campuses, Marc covers a wide range of issues, including political correctness, the growing tolerance of academic cheating, and institutionalized grade inflation.
David Marc is the author of several books including Demographic Vistas: Television in American Culture, Comic Visions: Television Comedy and American Culture and coauthor of Prime Time, Prime Movers: From I Love Lucy to L.A.
Susan J. Douglas is the author of Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. She teaches at Hampshire College in the School of Communication and Cognitive Science.
Series: Television and Popular Culture
6 x 9, 192 pages, 8 black and white illustrations