Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Martin Bickman

Second Advisor

Steven J. Lamos

Third Advisor

Catherine Labio


The Humanities, long the bastion of messy thinking to discern a messy world, recently have seen waning significance and dropping enrollment, as more and more students flock instead to degrees which they believe offer more immediate value. Such an ongoing shift begs many questions: How can colleges of the Arts reignite student interest and vicariously reassert their primacy? What tangible benefits do degrees in the Arts offer? How do we identify the pedagogy on which the Arts most heavily rely and how can we improve upon it? How might such a shift better affect society at large and for better bridges between the at-times disparate communities which compose it? By recalibrating our dependence on the Canon and encouraging a student-centered pedagogy rooted in experiential service learning, the Humanities can reassert their importance and produce more well-rounded students.