This introductory article raises questions about history's work in the contemporary public sphere and sets the stage for the issues addressed in the special issue as a whole. Drawing on my experience at a public university in fiscal crisis, I argue that historians can and should contribute to debates about the future of higher education, the role of the humanities in the twenty-first-century liberal arts curriculum, and the fate of intellectual work in a global world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalHistorical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Economic crisis
  • History-writing
  • Liberal arts education
  • Public histories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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