Humanities in the News

Humanities in the News is a curated newsfeed about university study of the humanities.

And the news is, it’s not all bad news.

Degrees in the humanities:

  • lead to jobs;
  • nurture democracy, and;
  • benefit society.

We all face new challenges in a global economy; this section is for news, voices, and commentary about how the humanities are responding.

Please feel free to send suggestions and links for this page to us at

(Robyn Autry - JHI's Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow, 2020-21, Psyche ) -- Black Beauty Doesn’t Have to Be Natural to Be Powerful and True

The phrase ‘Black is beautiful’ is a familiar political slogan, but it was also a social movement, and later a wildly successful marketing tool. The coinage dates back to the Naturally ’62 fashion show in Harlem, New York City, which eventually spread across the country. It challenged mainstream ideals by featuring Black people in conventionally white roles – not just on the catwalk, but as photographers, designers, musicians.

(Robyn Autry - JHI's Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow, 2020-21, WNYC Studios - The Takeaway ) -- UNC's Denial of Tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones Raises Bigger Questions About Higher Education

Last week, the news outlet NC Policy Watch reported that the board of trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill blocked journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones from being given tenure along with her position as a chair at the university’s journalism school.

(Robyn Autry - JHI's Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow, 2020-21, NBC Think - News, Opinion, Analysis ) -- UNC's rejection of Nikole Hannah-Jones and the opacity of academic tenure in America

The opacity is particularly thick for faculty of color, men and women alike, who are less likely than their white counterparts to be hired in the first place, let alone tenured.