What Everyone Says: Public Perceptions of the Humanities in the Media

Alan Liu, Abigail Droge, Scott Kleinman, Lindsay Thomas, Dan C. Baciu, Jeremy Douglass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Using computational means to understand patterns in how the humanities are men-tioned in U.S. journalism, the WhatEvery1Says project brings into focus challenging problems in the perception of the humanities. This essay reports on the project’s findings and some of the further questions that emerged from them. For example, how does the “humanities crisis” appear among the many crises of our time? Why do the humanities figure so often in connection with concrete, ordinary life yet also seem ab-stract in value? How can more of the substance of humanistic research be communicated as opposed to appearing as just academic business? And why is there so little focus in the media on how underrepresented populations are positioned in relation to the humanities by comparison to science and social, political, or economic issues? The essay concludes by recommending that the humanities reframe their crisis as part of larger human crises requiring multidisciplinary “grand challenge” approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-39
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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