At the Apple WWDC 2010 conference, Steve Jobs ended his keynote address with a slide that showed a street sign with an intersection between Technology and the Liberal Arts. This slide, for Jobs, “represents what Apple is all about. Apple is not just a technology company. Even though we have and invent some of the highest technology in our industry, it’s more than that. It’s the marriage of that, plus if you will, the Humanities or the Liberal Arts that distinguishes Apple. It’s the hardware and the software working together…”
This statement from Jobs surprised me. It also gave me a new understanding of the way Humanities, steeped in the philosophy of Plato, continues to influence our culture even today. Perhaps the shadow of what Plato set in motion with his idea of the ‘episteme’ (the knowledge) and ‘techne’ (the art or craft) still lingers at the core of what we have historically known as the Humanities. If so, then we are indeed, not yet dead, and are in, perhaps, a time of renaissance where the ‘techne’ can continue to inspire the ‘episteme’ by shifting the way we “know,” to make room for what is yet to be created. Opening windows to make room for ethos and pathos to enter a modern world that is driven by science and technology is what we hope this blog can foster – a place for discourse about the changing face of humanities and how these new humanities are aided by new scholarship, library collections and the librarians who add to the educational enterprise. Starting a blog at this cross roads is an effort to hold up the tradition of education and to swing wide the windows overgrown by time.
We’re not dead yet. Not by a long shot. Our work as librarians is like ‘techne,’ and is best seen as we expand our efforts to collaborate with interdisciplinary studies or with cultures and languages and any form of ‘episteme’ that can broaden our ability to help patrons navigate and interpret new information in the midst of the great changes that face us.
“We believe that even in the age of Google and globalization, the Humanities continue to shape the way people study, research and publish and that libraries are at the center of this enterprise."
Search the Humanities Blog
SubscribeYou can subscribe via e-mail. You will be alerted with an e-mail message whenever something new is posted, and can unsubscribe at any time. RSS Feed