Dartmouth Presidential Lectures: President Kim on humanities and the arts

Uploaded by Dartmouth on 30.07.2010

Carol Folt: How do you think the Humanities will be important in developing habits of
the mind?
President Kim: One of the things I thought about is, what if we were to study the evolution
of empathy during the process of say taking a course in literature? So much of literature
is about human empathy. So much of literature is about getting deeply into the mindsets
of these characters. I think that it happens everyday in the Humanities. Developing those
habits of the mind are critical. We just had a discussion today; Win Townsend is here today
from the American University of Kuwait and I was telling him that there are universities
in Korea that have eliminated their Humanities because they think they need to focus on training
the technocrats of the future. In my discussions with Korean leaders, I have said that is exactly
the opposite of what they want to do. Where Korea is today economically, is they have
got to start being creative, they are not going to make their future by copying other
technologies and selling them more inexpensively. They now have to come up with the new ideas,
the cultural production, and to me studying the Humanities and the Arts is absolutely
critical. You can map many of these traits, habits of the mind, onto the course work that
we’re already doing, especially in the Humanities and the Arts, others as well, but especially
I think, in courses in the Humanities.