Home > Teaching, The Historical Profession > An interesting article from the Times

An interesting article from the Times

Monday’s New York Times had an interesting article regarding the political leanings of university professors. The article argued that a university professor is a “typecast” career field, similar to how nursing is viewed as a gender-typed field. It does concede the role of progressive reforms in higher education fostered the current state of the system, causing most professors to be liberal. Overall, the article is interesting and made me reflect on why I chose to be a historian.

I am a conservative and am not ashamed to say it, but I do keep my views rather quiet do to the culture of universities. This is not to say that my department is this way, as they are great people to work with, though we would disagree on political and social subjects. I keep my views quiet so that people get to know me on other levels and are not tempted to pre-judge me based on my views.

I chose my career path because of my love of history, as well as to show young conservatives that you can be successful in academia. Further, history is in an interesting state as a discipline. While many in the public enjoy history, particularly military history, the profession is leaning into more fields that do not resonate as well with the public, fields that comprise social history. I will state that I have no problems with historians researching in their personal areas of interest, but that courses in universities should try to reflect traditional areas more, like military, economic, and diplomatic history. This is because of the nature of college, which is now driven by the bottom line. If history is to remain relevant and independent as a field in the university, it must do what is needed to maintain student interest in the field. Overall, it will be interesting to see what debate this article fosters. I hope you all read it and ponder.

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