Open Access Thesis
Science and the humanities--Case studies; University of Northern Iowa;
In 1959, chemist and author Charles Percy Snow gave a Rede Lecture at the University of Cambridge in which he named “Two Cultures”—the sciences and the humanities—which, according to his experience as someone who worked in both, were at odds with one another. His words elicited impassioned responses from critics who either agreed with Snow, believing this to be a detriment to society, or vehemently disagreed, believing Snow’s statements to be unfounded, and even antagonistic. This conversation, which had also found relevance in the United States, continues to be important today, and has changed over the years as institutions of higher education have changed.
The University of Northern Iowa, a former teacher’s education college, has evolved its own purpose since its establishment in 1876. During my time as a student at UNI, as an undergraduate and later a graduate student, I experienced my own relationships with the “Two Cultures.” When I learned of Snow’s lecture before starting my graduate program, I intuitively felt he was correct about there not being enough positive association between the sciences and the humanities. But what these associations were for me as a student at a Midwest American university would be different from Snow’s, whose time as a fellow at Cambridge University and subsequent work as an author, civil service commissioner, and politician shaped his views.
Through a series of personal narratives about my experiences as an anthropology major, English major, full-time employee, and finally graduate student, this thesis is an attempt to understand how the “Two Cultures” interact today, and in what other forms they may exist during this time of transition in higher education.
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Department of Languages and Literatures
Jeremy Schraffenberger, Chair
1 PDF file (iv, 88 pages)
© 2015 Elizabeth Ann Collins
Collins, Elizabeth Ann, "Reconciling the two cultures : A case study of the University of Northern Iowa" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 199.