Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Challenges of Teaching Humanities in a Global World: Acquiring News Media Literacy in a Global World—Redefining Global Pedagogy—A Canon of One's Own

Paul Ady, Ann Murphy, Patrick Corrigan.

1. (Ady):Acquiring News Media Literacy in a Global World
Chomsky, Hermann, McChesney and others have addressed the kinds of structural pressures upon and in the news media which lead to self-censorship and a skewing of information to favor corporate and political interests. Alternative news sources, including internet access to international news outlets, do offer opportunities for diversity of viewpoint that too often are lacking in ‘mainstream domestic news media. How does one help students to access, critically assess, and employ marginalized or ‘foreign’ news sources so that they can participate more fully and responsibly as citizens of a global world.
2 (Murphy)Re-defining Global Pedagogy
"The function of the writer," wrote Sartre, "is to act in such a way that nobody can be ignorant of the world and that nobody may say that he is innocent of what it is all about." Sartre's definition of literature appears particularly suitable for an increasingly "connected" and global world. Yet current graduate school training and critical theory often focus instead on arcane or disembodied methodologies far removed from the human realities implicit in Sartre's definition. Contemporary students desperately need to explore connections between the texts they read and themselves and their world. But they can only learn to do this if their teachers begin to explore new (and old) ways of teaching literature and of helping their students to read with passion and intelligence.
3. (Corrigan)A Canon of One’s Own: A First Fruit of a Liberal Education
--The challenge to liberal education today is to educate human beings, not consumers, job-holders and docile citizens; thoughtful “reading” of the foundational works of the humanities may be the key to meeting this challenge. The college humanities curriculum – if taught in a human, rather than a utilitarian, professional or political way – offers an antidote to this myopia. It can keep alive the transcendent dimension on being human. A successful college education would bear fruit in students having sets of works which are their own canons. These canons would consist of works with which students have an intimate familiarity, works which have challenged their prejudices, works which pulled them beyond the limitations of their time and place.


Paul Ady  (United States)
Associate Professor of English
English Department
Assumption College

Associate Professor of English, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, 1984. (Comparative Literature). Scholarship: James Joyce, media studies.

Ann Murphy  (United States)

Assumption College

Patrick Corrigan  (United States)

Assumption College

  • Challenges to Pedagogy
  • Media Literacy
  • Graduate Training
  • Canon formation

(60min Workshop, English)