The humanities code (1 of 2)

November 11, 2010

Jay Kennedy ends his piece, "My Dan Brown moment" (4 November), by decrying the impact of what he calls "outreach" on the humanities. According to him, such activities "are incompatible with the values" that drive those disciplines.

Kennedy's condemnation of what is more widely referred to as "third-stream" activity would be more convincing if he didn't spend much of the rest of the article providing a convincing rebuttal to his own arguments.

If the "new links" forged between scholars, the exchange of insight with "researchers in other disciplines", the invites to give lectures and publish monographs, and the 30,000 hits received by Kennedy's university web page - all of which came about as a direct consequence of his dalliance with "outreach" - are not consistent with the values of the humanities, I have difficulty understanding what is.

Neil Hughes, Principal lecturer in Spanish, Nottingham Trent University.

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