The Arts and Humanities Bill
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AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATIONVolume 6 May, 1965 Number 5
ASSOCIATION AFFAIRSThe Arts and Humanities Bill
On March 10, 1965, President Johnson supported the effortto create a National Foundation on the Arts and Humanitiesby sending to the Congress a bill, S. 1483 and comparablebills in the House, which establishes such a Foundation.Stating that "the humanities are an effort to explore thenature of man's culture and to deepen understanding of thesources and goals of human activity," the President calledthis effort "a central part of the American national purpose."The bill provides for the establishment of a National Endow-ment for the Humanities within the National Foundation, acomparable Endowment for the Arts, and a Federal Councilto co-ordinate the two. Each Endowment will be headed bya Chairman who will be compensated at the rate prescribedfor the Director of the National Science Foundation, and itwill also have an advisory Council with responsibilities simi-lar to that of the NSF Board. The Foundation is authorizedby the bill to initiate and support research and programs tostrengthen the research potential of the U.S. in the humani-ties by making arrangements with individuals and groups tosupport such activities, award fellowships and grants to in-stitutions or individuals for training in the humanities andthe arts, foster the interchange of information in the humani-ties, foster public understanding and appreciation of thehumanities and arts, and support the publication of scholarlyworks.
Appearing before the Special Subcommittee on Arts andHumanities of the Senate, headed by Sen. Claiborne Pell (D.,R.I.) on February 25, Alexander Spoehr, President of theAssociation, testified on behalf of similar legislation whichhad been introduced earlier by Sen. Pell and others in theSenate and by Congressman Frank Thompson, Jr. (D., N.J.)and Congressman William S. Moorhead (D., Penna.) in theHouse. The transcript of President Spoehr's testimonyfollows:
My remarks will be confined to two points. The firstrefers to the objective of this act, and the second to thetype of organization which the bill envisages to accomplishthis objective.
As stated in the Act, a leading nation cannot afford tolimit its efforts to science and technology, fundamental assuch efforts are to the national welfare. The United States
is being called upon today to demonstrate the vitality of itsideals and values, to prepare the coming generation forthe responsibility of American citizenship, and to furtherAmerican capacity for leadership in the world. Such de-mands make imperative a recognition of the worth of thehumanities and arts in contributing in major fashion tothis larger task. Granted that this is so, the question re-mains as to whether this task is an appropriate one forthe concern and financial support of the Federal Govern-ment in the manner set forth in the act. The recent reportof the Commission on the Humanities provides an affirma-tive answer. The report is a thoughtful analysis and docu-mentation of the relation of the humanities to the nationalinterest and contains the necessary justification for theactive entrance of the Federal Government into the fieldof the humanities. Of real importance is that the fabricof American education in the humanities must be improvedon a national basis if we are to cope with current andfuture problems affecting the quality of American life.
As to the second point, the Act has drawn on the valu-able experience gained through the operation of the Na-tional Science Foundation. Particularly to be commendedare the provisions for the appointment and composition ofthe Board of the Foundation, as well as the provisions forthe appointment of the Director of the Foundation. Theeffective exercise of the trusteeship and principal adminis-trative functions is crucial for the successful operation ofthe foundation. The organization as set forth in the Actis conducive to obtaining the services of the best qualifiedindividuals in both Board and Director roles, and to ensurethat the Foundation will in fact pursue the national in-terest, and thereby the intent of the Congress.
I have two additional points, Mr. Chairman, which Ishould like to submit to the committee as an individual.The first relates to the most fruitful relation between thearts on the one hand and the humanities on the other.In terms of their major goals certainly these are closelyrelated. I cannot conceive that William Shakespeare wouldhave paid very much importance to their differences, ratherhe would be concerned with their similarities.
The Humanities Foundation Act S. S16 meets a largerproblem in forthright fashion than the other forms oflegislation proposed. The key to the harmonious workingbetween the arts and the humanities lies within the qualityof the board and with the quality of the director.
Published by the American Anthropological Association, 1680 P Street, N.W., Washington 6, D. C. 10 times a year (monthlytterat July and August) for the Fellows of the Association. Second class pottage paid at Washington, D. C.Avauablt to non-Fellows by tobieription (12.00 per year).Ntwi Items should be ubmitted by the 15th of the month to appear in the following ism*.
Fellow Newsletter (5, 1965)
Secondly, my personal interest and concern is with thesciences rather than with the humanities and with the arts.I can foresee that there may be some overlap in the opera-tions of the National Science Foundation and the proposedNational Humanities Foundation. I feel, however, thatsuch overlap can be adjusted on a policy level. The mainpoint is that if the relation between science on the one handand the humanities and the arts on the other is to bestrengthened to the benefit of the national good, then thehumanities must be strengthened and the current imbal-ance between these two vital fields be corrected.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.Senator Pell. Professor Spoehr, 1 was wondering if you
would identify yourself as an anthropologist more in therealm of the humanities or more in the realm of thesciences?
Dr. Spoehr. In the realm of the sciences.Senator Pell. To you anthropology means the study of
man, which in the Latin is one of the definitions of hu-manism, too.
Dr. Spoehr. I should submit to the committee that theAmerican Anthropological Association is represented on allthree of the learned councils of the United States, theAmerican Council of Learned Societies, the Social ScienceResearch Council, and the National Research Council. Itis therefore the deep concern of the Association to maintaina balanced view of programs of social science, natu-ral science and human science in terms of our involve-ment in education and research. It is for this reason that,although my own interests are in the area of science,I feel a deep obligation to see that progress goes forwardon all three fronts.
The Executive Board has several times discussed the needfor greater support of the humanities, and President Spoehrwas the author of the Association's contribution to the Re-port of the Commission on the Humanities. Prospects forthe passage of President Johnson's bill in this session ofCongress seem excellent. The active support of all those in-terested is still needed, however. Letters in support of thelegislation should be addressed to Sen. Pell, Chairman ofthe Special Subcommittee on Arts and Humanities of theSenate, and to Congressman Thompson, Chairman of theSpecial Subcommittee on Labor of the House of Representa-tives, which has already reported the bill favorably.
Fellows elected in November, 1964:
James Edward AndersonAllen Overton BattleRobert A. BlackLeonard Keith BrownNoel David BurlesonEdward E. CalnekFrancis Joseph Clune, Jr.George Alphonse DeVosSamual H. ElbertRobert Louis EmrichHomer L. FirestoneKent V. FlanneryDavid H. FortierLeslie G. FreemanPatrick GallagherAdrian Gerbrands
Lorraine KaufmanKenneth A. R. KennedyKate Peck KentRobert M. LaughlinEthne MarencoJohn T. McGeeMarshall B. McKusickFrederick A. MilanRichard U. MoenchMichael MoermanRobert McCorkle NettingPhilip L. NewmanEugene Albert NidaJames E. OfficerSteven PikerHarvey Pitkin
Nelson H. H. GraburnVinigi L. GrottanelliJohn J. GumperzJohn H. HamerEric Pratt HampWilliam M. HarrisonRuth HarwoodRichard N. HendersonFrances HenryFrank Cummings HibbenRobert Cushman Hunt, Jr.Cynthia Irwin-WilliamsPhyllis J. JayRichard B. Johnston
John F. PlummerJoyce F. RiegelhauptSarah Anne RobinsonWilliam A. ShackRaymond Thomas SmithSally SnyderVictor Witter TurnerPierre L. Van den BergheDeward E. Walker, Jr.Wilcomb Edward WashburnNorman E. Whftten, Ir.Aram A. Yengoyan
On reading newsletters: an apologyThe editor is embarrassed. Having written that only two
people appear to read the NEWSLETTER, to judge fromthe replies to most items which appear therein; some fortyor more readers wrote inon everything from note paperand postal cards to letterhead. Most of them pointed outwhat should have been obvious to the editor: that not writ-ing letters doesn't mean not reading them. Moreover, manytook the remark to indicate that the editor felt unappreci-ated. Having received so many notes of appreciation, he isembarrassed that he ever brought up the subject.
Personal letters deserve personal replies. And they willreceive them. But it may be of more general interest thatabout half of those who wrote in favored publishing anindex to the NEWSLETTER, while half did not. Since theentries had already been compiled, so as to facilitate ouranswers to questions which people send us, it was littlebother to arrange them for publishing. The Index to Vol-umes 3-5, 1962-1964, was published in the last issue of theNEWSLETTER. We hope that it is useful.
And now, since you have been so kind to him, the editorwishes to return the favor: this