Presumably, it has never been a good time for the Humanities. Perhaps because it is simply in the nature of the discipline to find itself perpetually in crisis, lagging behind the times, dragging its leaden feet made out of indelible words, asking for more and more time in a civilization perpetually in a rush. It is constantly on the edge of a precipice, but we cannot deny that, while it is awkwardly balancing itself on the edge, it does enjoy magnificent views. After all, our field does not thrive on security, on solid facts, on controlled experiments with measurable outcomes.
This asynchronous interview with Rey Chow was conducted by Anna Jayne Kimmel, Victoria Zurita, and Roland Greene in response to Chow's recent book, A Face Drawn in Sand: Humanistic Inquiry and Foucault in the Present (Columbia University Press, 2021).
On Meaning and Flowers
One of the pleasures of teaching is the ability to linger at length with students on questions such as this: « Pourquoi donc y a-t-il des fleurs ? » [Why on earth are there flowers? Philippe Jaccottet. Cahier de verdure, 1990 : 106].