I would like to say a few words about the issue of post modernism and why I object to it.
At the Barcelona debate in 1263, Nachmonides was forced to respond to Christian charges that the Talmud confirms the truth of Christianity. At the beginning of the debate Nachmonides admitted to being puzzled by this; how it could be that the rabbis of the Talmud, living centuries after Jesus, could believe in Jesus and still reject Christianity? It seemed to be a matter of course for Nachmonides that, if the rabbis of the Talmud believed that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, they would have done the intellectually honest thing and ceased practicing Judaism and converted to Christianity. Obviously Nachmonides never met a post modernist.
Post modernism thrives on people undermining the legitimacy of their own work and still having the chutzpa to ask that society fund them in their endeavors. It is called deconstruction. If post modernists really believed in what they were doing and were intellectually honest they would admit that the entire humanities field, including their own particular slice, was worthless and they would pack up their things and leave academia. Frank Donoghue wishes to blame our business oriented society for killing off the humanities and he is right. What Donoghue does not ask is why the humanities have so utterly failed to defend themselves and make their case to society in the face of the business suits and number crunchers. For that you need Allan Bloom. Bloom, in his Closing of the American Mind, blames the modern left, with its worship of cultural relativism and its deconstruction of values, for bringing about a situation where even the humanities have no value. If all values are relative and there are no ultimate questions let alone ultimate answers than why should someone spend years of their lives studying Plato and Aristotle; why not just go to law school and make as much money as you can. Bloom was a tenured professor at the University of Chicago so his main concern was attracting students. As a graduate student, who made the choice to study history instead of going pursuing law school, my concern is getting a job at the end of the day. If the humanities have no value than why should a university bother to make the investment in hiring me.
I have a suggestion for all post modernists out there. If you do not believe that the humanities have intrinsic value and if you do not even believe in ultimate questions and in ultimate truths then please have the intellectual honesty to leave the university system; pack your bags and get a job in the real world. There are few enough jobs in the humanities as it is; the least you can do is leave those jobs to those who actually believe in what they are doing.