Request for comment

This semester, I am teaching Humanities 1: Art and Music, which was the last of the Humanities sequence at Shimer College that I had left. It has prompted a lot of thought on the capstone course, Humanities 4, which has gone through many different incarnations over the years and is currently in an avowedly “experimental phase” where the curriculum can change significantly from year to year or even between sections. The last time I taught it, we used Martin Buber’s I and Thou and Simone de Beauvoir’s Ethics of Ambiguity, and they worked well — but one of my colleagues has expressed some concern that both books (particularly Buber) may be a little bit out of date, or at least rarely used.

Does anybody have a sense of whether this concern is justified and, if so, what broadly comparable works may have superceded them as staples of an undergrad curriculum?

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