What U.S. Politicians Say About the Humanities: White Paper on the Humanities in Political Discourse, 2009-2015
Abstract: This study examines United States political discourse during 2009 to 2015 in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government and also the legislative branch of one state (California) to discover how politicians talk about the humanities. After analyzing records from the White House, Congress, and the California State Legislature, 4Humanities concludes that while the Obama administration has tried to promote the humanities using limited means (such as encouraging public-private partnerships and youth programs), neither the federal nor state legislatures studied, whatever the good will of particular politicians or parties, has moved for substantive improvement in the humanities. Legislators primarily mention the humanities in simple resolutions, thus conferring recognition without altering the status quo. The humanities figure in U.S. political discourse mainly in a drama of “recognition.”
This study was published on 4humanities.org.