Academic Questions

Western Civilization

Fragmenting the Curriculum

Daniel Bonevac

Bonevac documents the disappearance of Western Civilization and other broad interdisciplinary humanities courses, along with the dwindling of traditional survey courses. The result is that college graduates emerge with little knowledge of subjects beyond their majors, and only narrow slices of that to boot.

Saving Remnants: Where Western Civ Thrives

Glenn Ricketts

The Great Books of the Western Canon were once ubiquitous in American undergraduate education, the crucial entry way to humanity’s “Great Conversation” of ideas. That ended in the latter part of the twentieth century. But “Western Civ” survives. Glenn Ricketts provides a survey of existing programs where Western civilization is still part of the core curriculum.

The Case for Colonialism

Bruce Gilley

From the summer issue of Academic Questions, we reprint the controversial article, "The Case for Colonialism." 

After the Interregnum

Patrick J. Deneen

In "God's and Guns," a special section of the Winter 2014 Academic Questions, Patrick J. Deneen finds that both sides in the latest stage of the Culture Wars "represent a betrayal of the proper mission of higher education."

Under Eastern Eyes

Steve Balch


Steve Balch

NAS board chairman Steve Balch argues that American students must study Western civilization to understand the epochal way in which it has transformed the human condition. This article appeared in the spring 2012 "Why Study the West" issue of Academic Questions (volume 25, number 1).