I started this blog about a year ago, when I anticipated more hard times for my program at the University of Arizona. I decided to try to impact, in my own small way, the public perception of the humanities. So far, the hard times haven't come my way (knock on wood). But on October 1, 2010, George M. Philip, President of SUNY Albany, decided to close a number of humanities programs at his university: French, Italian, Russian, Classics, and Theatre.
Since then, there has been quite a buzz about the importance of the humanities in the general media. Stanley Fish wrote about it in his posting for The New York Times, entitled "The Crisis of the Humanities Officially Arrives."
This led to a discussion in The New York Times' online forum, "Do Colleges Need French Departments."
Both of the items from The New York Times make good cases for the state of the humanities and of the necessity of the humanities. But probably the best I've read is in a letter entitled "A Faustian Bargain." In it, the author, Gregory A. Petsko, makes an exquisite case--satirically--about the importance of the humanities.