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Paula Moya on "Why Literature Matters for Social Justice"

The much-discussed "crisis of the humanities" has provoked a stream of attacks and justifications, with politicians like Florida governor Rick Scott questioning investment in English, art, and history.  Commentator David Brooks argued in the New York Times that scholarly attention to "race, class, and gender" has sacrificed the "uplifting mission" of humanities departments of yore that focused on "old notions of truth, beauty and goodness."

But Stanford professor of English Paula Moya believes these critiques miss an essential point.  Literature, says Moya, shapes the very frameworks we use to approach the world, including our attitudes toward race, class, and gender.

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