From social distancing to social isolation to … ?

Kathryn D. Temple – March 21, 2020

As the Director of the MAEPH, I spend a lot of time thinking about the value of the humanities in public life. COVID-19 may seem on the surface more relevant to other fields like public health, biology, economics, and public policy. But the habits of mind that drive the humanities not only guide human decisions about human problems but also help us cope on an individual and subjective level. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring the role of the humanities during COVID-19 through writing essays that celebrate the habits of mind we develop through studying the humanities. In this short essay, I touch on the role of history plays in aiding our understanding of the crisis. 

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