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Conclusion: Building a University Worth Fighting For

Mortarboard caps that have been thrown into the air

The conclusion and afterword of Dr. Katina Rogers’ Putting the Humanities To Work fundamentally challenges the pessimistic notion that the academy as we know it is unchangeable, or that those involved with universities by employment or education are unable to change them.  The notion that “a university worth fighting for” is not an impossible dream closes this manual for career construction and societal reformation with a clear intention to not only put the reader’s degree to work, but to do so in order to serve the public good. The path forward for Rogers is not calling for a complete tear down of the university system, but rather for its members to “reshape and strengthen [academic structures] from within” (128) to best serve the needs of society.

Driven by the core notion that those pursuing Humanities research and pedagogy at the undergraduate and post-graduate level have the potential (not to mention the responsibility) to be a force for positivity, Rogers continues to lay out ten steps that academics may follow to help bring about a different notion of the university. Though this reviewer will leave the reader to discover what each of these steps exactly entails, they vary from encouraging and rewarding skills that lead to different outcomes beyond peer-reviewed monographs to an invocation to work against discriminatory biases that exist at both the individual and systemic levels. This book is valuable to all scholars involved in the Humanities, from prospective graduate students to future grads to faculty advisors.

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