Humanities in Capitals: Human Capital, Cultural Capital, and the Critique of the Knowledge Economy
This paper will explore the precarious standing of ‘the human’ of the humanities, as it is increasingly circumscribed by policy directions ostensibly derived from notions of ‘human capital’ and ‘cultural capital’ within a ‘knowledge economy’. The surrounding field, as it is articulated in higher education policy directives, refers the definition of the status of the humanities to Bourdieuian notions of 'cultural capital' on the one hand, and to the parameters of the ‘human capital’ of the Chicago School on the other hand. This paper will caution against the attempt at deriving New Directions for the Humanities from any one or combination or conflation of such blueprints.
Keywords: humanities, human capital, cultural capital, knowledge economy, critique
Associate Professor, Department of Classics & Modern European Languages, University of South Africa, Pretoria