Future priorities of the humanities in Europe: what have the humanities to offer?

Parker, Jan (2007). Future priorities of the humanities in Europe: what have the humanities to offer? Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 6(1) pp. 123–127.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022207072234


Humanities-based speakers and delegates to the European Commission conference on ‘Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe: New Challenges, New Opportunities’ gathered at the end of the meeting to develop a proactive Humanities special interest group. For, as Professor Gabriele Griffin said in her keynote speech to the conference (published in this journal, 5[3]), the Arts and Humanities have a great deal more to offer than the European research community and the Commissioner for Research are aware. The result was a round-table conference organized by the Humanities higher Education Research Group, the international group based in and supported by the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology, to which senior humanities scholars and members of the EC Working Party on Future Priorities for the Humanities were invited. The outcomes were: a manifesto to go to the European Commissioner for Research; and agenda-setting papers for the Working Party’s consideration. But as everybody there said afterwards, so much more was achieved – wide-ranging and inspiring discussion about the nature and function of the Arts and Humanities and of research; heated argument about what Europe ought to know about the Humanities and what the Humanities ought to know and say about itself.

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