Phi Beta Cons

Don’t Get a Ph.D. in History

The dearth of jobs in the humanities has been around a while, but in history, at least, the picture is bleaker than ever, according to Inside Higher Ed. The American History Association lists 569 jobs this year; the number of Ph.D.’s awarded in history in 2009 was 989. A report from the history association reminds departments that they should “carefully reflect” on how many students they are training — a piece of advice that seems a little after-the-fact.

I don’t know whether the grim state of the history discipline is due to its embracing the kind of politically correct positions that have shrunk support for other departments (such as English), or if the problem is the increasingly vocational nature of college, but once again traditional education is on the wane.

Jane S. Shaw — Jane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

Most Popular

PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

How Democrats Can Blow It in 2020

Donald Trump probably can’t win the 2020 presidential election, but the Democrats can lose it. What I mean is that in a contest between Trump and a generic Democrat, Trump would almost surely lose if the current political climate holds through 2020. According to a Fox News poll this week, 38 percent of ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Unforgettable Curtain Call

At 88, Clint Eastwood seldom appears on screen anymore and last acted in a movie in 2012’s mediocre Trouble with the Curve. So the final images of The Mule may be the last we see of him at the movies. If so, what an exit: understated perfection, with a playful hint of subverting his screen image. The Mule is ... Read More