In defense of the classical tradition: How the humanities make a difference today
The question I have been grappling with since Donald Trump was shockingly and quite possibly illegally elected President of the United States is how to practice art history so that my scholarship has some kind of meaningful agency in the current political climate. Art History is my profession and my calling, but there might come a time when I have to abandon living my “normal life” because of other priorities. That is exactly the decision my parents were forced to make when they found themselves trapped in Nazi Hungary. Eventually they emigrated to a new life inthe United States. What if they had been turned back at the border? As a member of the underground resistance during World War II, my father managed to evade death when many of his family, friends, and associates did not, but he certainly would have been imprisoned or executed for his role in the Independent Smallholders’ Party after the war, had he stayed any longer during the Soviet take-over of Hungary completed in 1949.