Book Description

Review The Transformative Humanities will be, for many scholars, a jump-start to critical inquiry across literary studies and philosophy alike. -- Aaron Colton, University of Virginia College Literature Read more From the Back Cover 'It is widely recognized that we are in the midst of a crisis in how universities are organized, the ends they serve, and the place they hold in national life. The humanities are at the epicenter of changes now taking place. Mikhail Epstein is uniquely qualified to grasp the complex nature of the current dilemma, and more importantly, to provide a blueprint for the future that is both visionary and realistic. He is a thinker/activist who was tried in the crucible of late Soviet social, economic, and institutional chaos. He now brings the skills he developed in that historic moment of change to bear on our own. In an age in which a tsunami of sheer data threatens to overwhelm our capacity to make sense of it, Epstein's revolutionary project demonstrates how wisdom can triumph over brute information. His manifesto is one of the best informed, and most compelling arguments I know for education that is still centered on how to be human.' -- Michael Holquist, Professor Emeritus, Comparative and Slavic Literature, Yale University, USA'Mikhail Epstein's The Transformative Humanities is a critical manifesto for our times.? The humanities, denigrated, underfunded, abandoned, and increasingly seen as irrelevant, are here rethought and reordered.? Not a claim for a more economically viable or culturally more relevant form of the humanities; not an argument that states we need the humanities to make better citizens or more humane professionals, Epstein looks at the core of the humanities and sees its vitality and strength undiminished beneath layers of disciplinary morbidity and administrative pandering.? A book that ALL humanists need to read to understand the problems and the advantages of the humanities in the 21st century.' -Sander L. Gilman Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences; Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University, USA 'An unforeseen boon of the 1989-91 revolutions in the Soviet bloc has been the re-invigoration of Western intellectual life. Eastern European thinkers encountered with fresh eyes, and much unease, the theories and attitudes that arose in a Paris-dominated West from the heyday of Sartre to that of Badiou. Among the most significant and startling contributions since '89 have come to us from Mikhail Epstein, who's been setting thought experiments in motion since the time of Perestroika. Emerging from the Soviet bubble to take the measure of postmodernism, the first questions that Epstein posed were: Why post-? Why not proto-? His concern ever since has been to redirect humanists from self-pity toward 'inventorship.' 'Perhaps,' as he writes in The Transformative Humanities, 'twenty-first century society, and conceivably even academe itself, are turning away from the humanities because in the twentieth century, and especially in the second half, the humanities turned away from humans?' The task he has set himself is no less than to invent concepts, reinvent attitudes, and engineer a technics that will render the humanities human at last.' - Jeffrey M. Perl, Professor of English Literature, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and Founding Editor of Common Knowledge Read more See all Editorial Reviews