After 26 years as a member of the Harvard faculty, Howard Mumford Jones, Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of the Humanities, will retire this summer.
However, the 70-year-old humanist plans to continue teaching, and has commitments to lecture at M.I.T. next fall and at the University of Michigan next spring. He will continue work on a major book concerning the origins of American culture.
The long-time proprietor or Humanities 133, "Thought and Literature in the Nineteenth Century," Jones also served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1943-44.
Recently, he predicted that Harvard's General Education Program would be substantially altered. He recommended that Gen Ed courses be required during the last two years of college, instead of the first two, to tie together knowledge gained in lower level courses.
Jones noted that the program has worked out quite differently from its original intentions outlined in "General Education in a Free Society," a Faculty committee report of 1945. Instead of covering wide seas, General Education courses have often been specialized, he observed. There has also been difficulty attracting experienced scientists to teach the courses because the teaching lead caused them to fall behind in their research.
Jones' own upper level General Education course covered a wide sweep of literature, history, music, art, and philosophy form the French Revolution to World War I.