On Lamentations for a Lost Canon

Today, perpetuating the narrative that the 1980s was the decade that the canon died raises the stakes for higher education, particularly in the humanities. Decades of carefully cultivated hostility toward the purported canon-killers of the 1980s are now bearing fruit in legislative efforts to reduce support for scholarship in the humanities. Politicians and a public indignant on behalf of a canon that never was are increasingly unwilling to support education except in only the most narrowly conceived vocational terms.

Against this background of the delegitimizing and defunding of higher education for any purpose other than job training, it is no wonder that colleges and universities are talking up their ability to impart transferrable ‘skills’ to their students. For now, it may seem like the only way they can keep their doors open long enough to teach students anything at all.
— L.D. Burnett