Richard Brodhead

  • Aired:  08/15/13
  •  | Views: 31,997

Duke University President Richard Brodhead talks about his report on the humanities, "The Heart of the Matter." (5:41)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

PIE GUEST TONIGHT, PLEASE

WELCOME RICHARD BRODHEAD.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> NICE TO MEET YOU.

>> ALL RIGHT, SIR.

PROFESSOR RICHARD BRODHEAD.

>> THAT WOULD BE ME.

>> ALL RIGHT, DUKE

UNIVERSITY, PRESIDENT OF

DUKE, CO-CHAIR OF THE

COMMISSION ON THE

HUMANNITIES AND SOCIAL

SCIENCES, CREATED BY THE

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND

SCIENCE.

AND YOU HAVE A NEW REPORT

CALLED THE HEART OF THE

MATTER.

FIRST OF ALL, WHAT IS THE

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND

SCIENCES?

>> IT'S --

>> IS THAT A TAXPAYER

BOONDOGGLE?

>> YOU WILL BE SORRY TO HEAR

THAT IT ISN'T.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

>> IT'S A SCHOLARLY SOCIETY

THAT REPRESENTS PEOPLE

ACROSS ALL THE FIELDS OF

LEARNING.

>> Stephen: WAS'S YOUR FIELD

OF LEARNING BEFORE WE GET IN

THIS.

>> MY DEGREE IS IN ENGLISH.

>> Stephen: ENGLISH MAJOR,

YOU WENT FOR THE--

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

YOU WENT FOR THE BIG CASH.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

>> NOW I'M ON YOUR SHOW.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, YEAH.

IT WORKED OUT.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Stephen: LET'S GIVE THE

HUMANNITIES THE COLBERT

BUMP.

ALL RIGHT, YOU LAMENT.

WE CAN DO IT, WE CAN DO IT

IF YOU WANT.

THERE YOU GO.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

YOU LAMENT IN THIS REPORT

THE FALL OF THE HUMANNITIES

IN OUR UNIVERSITIES.

PEOPLE ARE NOT BECOMING

HUMANNITIES MAJORS ANY MORE.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

>> WELL, YOU OVERSTATED.

IT'S NOT SOME OF THE DECLINE

AS WE THINK THAT ALL ACROSS

AMERICAN LIFE STARTING IN

KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12th

GRADE THROUGH COLLEGE AND

THROUGH LATER LIFE THERE'S A

HUNGER FOR THE THINGS THE

HUMANNITIES SUPPLY.

AND PEOPLE HAVEN'T PAID IT

AS MUCH ATTENTION.

>> Stephen: OF COURSE WE ARE

HUMANS, OF COURSE WE HUNGER

FOR THE HUMANNITIES.

>> WELL, THEN WHAT IS THE

HUMANNITIES.

>> I DON'T KNOW, ACTUALLY.

>> WELL, I WILL TELL YOU.

>> Stephen: NOT A

HUMANNITIES MAJOR, I DON'T

KNOW.

>> THE HUMANNITIES IS HUMANS

STUDYING THE THINGS OTHER

HUMANS HAVE ACHIEVED AND

SUFFERED AND STRUGGLED FOR

IN OTHER TIMES AND PLACES.

>> Stephen: BUT DOES THAT

HOW OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM HAS

BECOME, WE HAVE TO TEACH OUR

CHILDREN HOW TO BE HUMAN.

WHEN I WAS A KID YOU POPPED

OUT OF THE WOMB AND YOU KNEW,

YOU KIND OF HAD A FEEL FOR

IT.

>> WELL, THOSE WERE THE

DAYS.

>> Stephen: THEY WERE.

NOW YOU SAY-- YOU SAY-- YOU

SAY I'M OVERSTATING THE

CASE.

BUT YOU ALSO SAY IN HERE

THAT ENGLISH MAJORS ARE AT

AN ALL-TIME LOW.

>> THE FIGURES ABOUT WHO

MAJORS IN WHAT ISN'T THE

MOST IMPORTANT THING.

IT'S ABOUT HOW MUCH

EMPHASIS.

WE ARE TALKING IN FAVOR OF

THE SUPPORT OF A BROAD

VERSION OF EDUCATION THAT

ARCHES FROM THE SCIENCES TO

THE HUMANNITIES, THAT STARTS

EARLY AND CONTINUES ALL

THROUGH PEOPLE'S LIVES.

THAT'S WHAT GIVES PEOPLE THE

FULL SET OF EQUIPMENT THEY

NEED FOR EMPLOYMENT, FOR

PERSONAL PLEASURE, FOR ALL

THE THINGS THAT EDUCATION

HAS BEEN --

>> OKAY.

BUT YOU'RE--

(APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: OBVIOUSLY, YOU

KNOW, YOU-- YOU'RE A

HUMANNITIES GUY AND SO YOU

THINK WE SHOULD HAVE THE

HUMANITIES IN OUR LIVES.

BUT IF YOU WERE NOT THE

PRESIDENT OF DUKE BUT

INSTEAD WERE PERHAPS THE

PRESIDENT OF A TECHNICAL

TRAINING INSTITUTE.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: WOULDN'T YOU BE

TALKING ABOUT THE BEAUTY OF

DRAINING FREON FROM AN AC

UNIT?

>> WELL, I WILL TELL YOU,

THIS COMMISSION THAT I

CO-CHAIRED HAD ON IT SOME

PRESIDENTS OF UNIVERSITIES,

IT HAD ON IT SOME SCHOLARS

BUT IT ALSO HAD THE C.E.O.

OF BOEING.

IT HAD THE FORMER GOVERNOR

OF TENNESSEE WAS A MEMBER ON

IT, IT HAD THE PERSON WHO

HEADS THE LARGEST COMMUNITY

COLLEGE IN AMERICA.

AND ALL OF THEM ARGUED FOR

THE LONG-TERM VALUE OF THE

KIND OF THINS THAT THE

HUMANNITIES TEACHES.

ALL OF THEM DID.

I WILL TELL YOU SOMETHING

ESPECIALLY INTERESTING, THE

FORMER PRESIDENT OF M.I.T.

WHO IS NOW THE HEAD OF THE

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF

ENGINEERS WAS ON OUR

COMMITTEE.

YOU KNOW, HE SAYS ENGINEERS

NEED TO DO MORE THAN

ENGINEERING.

THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO

COMMUNICATE IN ORDER FOR THE

FULL VALUE OF THEIR

EDUCATION.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: LET ME TELL YOU

THIS IS THE REPORT.

IT'S CALLED THE HEART OF THE

MATTER.

I SEE YOU SPRUNG FOR THE

FANCY BINDER TO TRY TO GET A

BETTER GRADE.

BUT I WANT TO POINT OUT

SOMETHING HERE.

LOOK AT YOUR MARGINS.

LOOK AT YOUR MARGINS, RIGHT

HERE.

YOU'RE CLEARLY TRYING TO

STRETCH THIS.

IF YOU PROPERLY FORMATTED

THIS IT WOULD BE LIKE 8

PAGES LONG.

>> ALL SERIOUS READERS KNOW

THAT MARGINS ARE TO KEEP

YOUR NOTES IN.

>> Stephen: GLAD I'M NOT A

SERIOUS READER.

I WOULD FEEL BAD THAT I

DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

>> CAN I-- YOU'RE A BIT OF

AN EXPERT ON MELVILLE AND

HAWTHORNE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: CAN I ASK YOU

SOMETHING ABOUT MELVILLE

ABOUT MOBBEE DICK.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: THAT'S A BIG

BOOK, OKAY.

I'VE GOT A BUCHL COPY OF IT,

HAND TOOLED LEATHER,

EVERYTHING.

I DON'T REALLY WANT TO CRACK

IT OPEN BECAUSE IT WILL RUIN

THE RESALE VALUE.

IS MOBY DICK A METAPHOR FOR

THE STRUGGLE OF TRYING TO

READ MOBY DICK?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

>> YOU MISSED YOUR CALLING

AS A LITERARY CRITIC.

>> Stephen: I'VE GOT A

FALLBACK POSITION.

HOW DOES THAT PAY?

(LAUGHTER)

>> I THOUGHT WE ALREADY

COVERED THAT.

>> Stephen: WELL, PROFESSOR,

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

JOINING ME.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: THE PRESIDENT OF

DUKE UNIVERSITY.

BE AN ENGLISH MAJOR.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.