The Evaluation of the Humanities

Evaluation in the Humanities: A Humanist Perspective

The recent development in the university evaluation system in Korea has turned out to be extremely detrimental to academic research, particularly in the humanities. The corporatization of higher education in Korea imposes a problematic evaluation system on humanist scholars in that it places them under enormous pressure to publish at a rate incompatible with humanities scholarship. This paper critically examines the validity of the current university evaluation system in the humanities from a humanist scholar’s viewpoint. By analyzing the official statistics on humanities scholarship of Korean universities between 2011-2012, this paper argues that present publication requirements for humanities professors go well beyond their natural research capacity. It is highly unlikely, however, to rectify such a problem without exempting humanities scholarship from the race of unlimited competition taking place in the global market of higher education represented by world university rankings. Research performance in the humanities should be assessed with a new evaluation system reflecting a good understanding of the nature of humanities scholarship such as distinctiveness, diversity, and locality.

In/Out 37(2014):84-109