Higher Education

The New Humanities Reader, 4th Edition

  • Richard E. Miller Rutgers University
  • Kurt Spellmeyer Rutgers University
  • ISBN-10: 0495912867  |  ISBN-13: 9780495912866
  • 576 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006, 2003
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $103.50
  • Newer Edition Available
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THE NEW HUMANITIES READER presents 25 challenging and important essays from diverse fields that address current global issues. This cross-disciplinary anthology helps readers attain the analytical skills necessary to become informed citizens. Ideas and research from wide-ranging sources provide opportunities for students to synthesize materials and formulate their own ideas and solutions. The thought-provoking selections engage students and encourage students to make connections for themselves as they think, read, and write about the events that are likely to shape their lives. The Fourth Edition includes nearly 25% new reading selections, which continue to make this text current, globally oriented, interdisciplinary, and probing.

Features and Benefits

  • The 25 essays in this volume ask students to engage in the most pressing problems of our time--problems that resist easy answers and that need to be explored in ways that move across the boundaries separated by the disciplines. By engaging in these essays and the conversations that they stimulate, students become better prepared for their upper-level courses.
  • Renowned thinkers and scholars such as Leila Ahmed, Susan Faludi, Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Johnson, Azar Nafisi, Oliver Sacks, Peter Singer, Deborah Tannen and 17 others introduce students to some of the foundational questions they will face as they move through the curriculum and make decisions about how they will affect the world.
  • The fourth edition of THE NEW HUMANITIES READER gives students more assistance in reading and writing about the complex essays collected here. In student focus groups, students told us that they begin the course without many strategies for processing complex ideas and information and without understanding how to create a space for their own ideas in the conversations these essays begin or continue. In addition to the three types of questions that follow each reading, the revised Introduction now gives an overview of the “how” as well as the “why” of writing synthesis essays.
  • New Sequenced Assignments offer sequences of different lengths and involve different numbers of essays to give instructors maximum flexibility in designing their courses. Along with the Thematic Table of Contents, these new assignment sequences suggest a wide variety of ways to consider the interconnections among the essays.

Table of Contents

Thematic Contents.
Leila Ahmed, On Becoming an Arab.
Karen Armstrong, Homo religiosus.
Jonathan Boyarin, Waiting for a Jew: Marginal Redemption at the Eight Street Shul.
Nicholas Carr, Is Google Making Us Stupid?
Susan Faludi, The Naked Citadel.
Carolyn Fraser, Rewilding North America.
Daniel Gilbert, Immune to Reality.
Malcolm Gladwell, The Power of Context: Bernie Goetz and the Rise and Fall of New York City Crime.
Steven Johnson, The Myth of the Ant Queen.
Christine Kenneally, You Have Gestures.
Jon Krakauer, Selections from Into the Wild.
Beth Loffreda, Selections from Losing Matt Shepard: Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder.
Azar Nafisi, Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books.
Tim O’Brien, How to Tell a True War Story.
Juhani Pallasmaa, Selections from The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses.
Oliver Sacks, The Mind’s Eye: What the Blind See.
Charles Siebert, An Elephant Crackup?.
Peter Singer and Jim Mason, Meat and Milk Factories.
Michael Specter, A Life of Its Own.
Martha Stout, When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning, It Was Friday.
Deborah Tannen, The Roots of Debate in Education and the Hope of Dialogue.
Edward Tenner, Another Look Back, and a Look Ahead.
Robert Thurman, Wisdom.
Jean Twenge, An Army of One: Me.
Janine Wedel, Confidence Men and Their Flex Lives.

What's New

  • A revised Introduction now gives students specific pointers on how to synthesize ideas from several readings, including ideas about how to read creatively, make connections among ideas, explore discontinuities, and develop a position.
  • New sequenced assignments at the end of the book provide faculty and students questions they may use as starting points to explore the connections between essays and think creatively about positioning their own ideas in the ensuing conversation.
  • Nearly 25% of the readings are new to this edition. New readings from across the disciplines include excerpts from three important books published in 2009: Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God; Caroline Fraser’s Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution; and Janine R. Wedel’s Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. In an excerpt from his classic of architectural theory, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, Juhani Pallasmaa discusses the overemphasis on the visual experience in architecture. Nicholas Carr asks in an Atlantic article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and in a New Yorker article, Michael Specter reviews developments in the field of synthetic biology in “A Life of Its Own.”

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + CourseReader 0-30: Rhetorical Modes Printed Access Card

ISBN-10: 1285261151  | ISBN-13: 9781285261157

List Price = $150.95  | CengageBrain Price = $150.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $113.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • The New Humanities Reader
    List Price = $137.95  | CengageBrain Price = $137.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $103.50
  • CourseReader 0-30: Rhetorical Modes Printed Access Card
    List Price = $66.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $49.50

Bundle: The New Humanities Reader, 4th + The Concise Wadsworth Handbook, Untabbed Version, 3rd

ISBN-10:  1133221947 | ISBN-13:  9781133221944

List Price = $148.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $110.00

This Bundle Includes:

  • The New Humanities Reader
    List Price = $137.95  | CengageBrain Price = $137.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $103.50
  • The Concise Wadsworth Handbook, Untabbed Version
    List Price = $56.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $42.75


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

This online research and learning center offers over 20 million full-text articles from nearly 6,000 scholarly and popular periodicals. The articles cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and topics--ideal for every type of researcher. Learn more at www.cengage.com/infotrac. (Access code/card required).

List Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $24.00

Student Supplements

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

Save time, save money, and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTrac® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

List Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $24.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Richard E. Miller

Richard E. Miller, Executive Director of the Plangere Writing Center, is the author of Writing at the End of the World (Pittsburgh, 2005), As If Learning Mattered: Reforming Higher Education (Cornell, 1998), and co-author, with Kurt Spellmeyer, of The New Humanities Reader (Houghton-Mifflin, Cengage, 3rd edition, 2008), a textbook used in first-year writing courses in high schools, colleges, and universities across the country. Together with Paul D. Hammond, Director of Digital Initiatives in the Rutgers University Writing Program, Professor Miller is developing a revitalized version of the humanities that engages with the sciences and the social sciences to improve the quality of human life by addressing the biggest problems of our time. This multi-faceted, interdisciplinary project includes designing new spaces for learning and performance; developing new curricula which aim to foster creativity and curiosity; and launching collaborative projects that seek to engage the public sphere.

Kurt Spellmeyer

Kurt Spellmeyer is Director of the Writing Program at Rutgers University. He is the author of Buddha at the Apocalypse: Awakening from a Culture of Destruction (2010); Arts of Living: Reinventing the Humanities for the Twenty-first Century (2003); and Common Ground: Dialogue, Understanding, and the Teaching of Composition (1992). He also has written articles on the theory of composition, critical theory of composition, critical theory, and academic institutions.