PORTALES, NM (11/30/2017) Working with worldwide authorities, including Eastern New Mexico University faculty members, Dr. Michael Shaughnessy, professor of education, has edited a new book titled "The Humanities: Past, Present and Future."
It is a follow-up to an earlier book he edited titled "The Humanities in 2015: Why We Need Them and How They Contribute to Being Human."
ENMU faculty contributing were Dr. Anne Beck, professor of theatre, Dr. Donald Elder III, professor of history, Mr. Greg Erf, professor of art, Ms. Geni Flores, instructor of bilingual education, Ms. Opal Greer, instructor of English and director of the University Writing Program, Dr. Jennifer Laubenthal, associate professor of music, and Dr. Wally Thompson, assistant professor of reading.
Dr. Shaughnessy says he was initially taken aback by the publisher's request for a follow-up book, and "can only surmise that there must have been some response to the 2015 book to bring about a request for a more comprehensive book, looking at the humanities from a past, present and future perspective."
He says there are many scholars, writers and researchers across the United States who value and cherish the humanities - a broad term which includes music, art, dance, theatre, history, architecture, religion and many other realms.
"There are those who believe that discussions about the humanities and theatre and art and music are a very integral part of being human," Dr. Shaughnessy said. "They believe in the importance of human interaction, the Socratic Dialog, debate, discussion and the examination and exploration of human ideas and ideals."
A number of scholars from across the world, including Will Fitzhugh of the Concord Review, Paul Horton of the University of Chicago and other scholars working in conjunction with the ENMU faculty "rose to the challenge of writing about their area of expertise, some with a specific focus and others with a more global, general perspective. We truly have a cross-cultural perspective with the contributions of Kevin Donnelly of Australia and Gerald Cupchik of Canada," Dr. Shaughnessy said.
Different authors from different disciplines all contribute to the humanities in their own unique way, according to Dr. Shaughnessy.
"In a sense, the book is an attempt to take a long hard look at the humanities and try to determine where the humanities are going, as a field, and what challenges they face," said Dr. Shaughnessy.
"While not every student may want to learn about art appreciation, or music appreciation or theatre appreciation, it is incumbent upon the university to attempt to engage students in these realms and to develop a thirst and hunger for a deeper, richer, more robust appreciation of these domains, and to possibly enlighten them to the vast fullness of the human experience in other realms - such as religion, architecture, museum study and philosophy - as well as other more straightforward realms such as Western Civilization and American History. In all, it encompasses economic, political, geographical and other realms.
"The humanities are a connection to the university experience," Dr. Shaughnessy said.
"The Humanities: Past, Present and Future" was featured at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Jalisco, Mexico from Nov. 25-30.
The book should be available online shortly at NOVA Science Publishers.