Since the Great Recession of 2008–2009, practitioners of the liberal arts and sciences have experienced increasing pressure to demonstrate the relevance and value of liberal learning to working lives and careers. The economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to increase that pressure. In this environment, how should defenders of the liberal arts and sciences be thinking about work and working lives? This essay attempts to answer that question by exploring broad trends in work and workplaces and connecting those trends back to the traditional concerns of liberal learning. The essay also discusses some of the changes that will be necessary in the ways academic departments and college and university administrators think about the undergraduate curriculum.

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