Humanities 'self-harm' a case of awful timing 1

The attack on humanities research by Clive Bloom, emeritus professor of English and American studies at Middlesex University, is another curious act of self-harm by the university and very poorly timed ("Money for antique rope", 13 May).

It comes just as Middlesex has decided to close its philosophy programme, its highest-rated research subject. This decision has been passionately opposed by academics across Europe and the US, including Noam Chomsky.

The value of the humanities must be strongly defended as the coalition government's education policy begins to take shape.

Bloom would have poured out the hemlock, handed it to Socrates and watched him drink. He does not have to act as gravedigger as well.

Simon Newton, York.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Elly Walton illustration (16 July 2015)

Whether in jest or not, sexist language shows an insensitivity to gender issues at odds with academic values, argues Dorothy Bishop

  • Two men looking surprised in an office

Report says projects fail when scholars obsessed with “shiny things” ignore business needs

  • Tony Little, Eton College headmaster, 2007

Tony Little points to ‘increasing gap’ between teaching standards at sixth form and university

  • AC Grayling, writer and academic

A. C. Grayling’s ‘Oxbridge-style’ private college strikes agreement with post-92 institution