Why Keats and Kant can coexist with coding

History is on the ebb. Philosophy is on the ropes. And comparative literature? Please. It's an intellectual heirloom: cherished by those who can afford such baubles but disposable in the eyes of others.

I'm talking about college majors, and talk about college majors is loud and contentious these days. There's concern about whether schools are offering the right ones. There are questions about whether colleges should be emphasising them at all. How does a deep dive into the classics abet a successful leap into the contemporary job market? Should an ambitious examination of English literature come at the cost of acquiring fluency in coding, digital marketing and the like?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2018, with the headline 'Why Keats and Kant can coexist with coding'. Print Edition | Subscribe