Friday, June 26, 2015

Is Numismatics an Academic Discipline?

According to some:
the complete lack of recognition for the subject in any and all universities, colleges or like institutions, . . . and the absence of the slightest respect accorded to journals. There may be plenty of journals in the field, but . . . they are ignored or despised . . . . Nor, as I have said, can you take an actual degree of any kind in the subject, not even an undergraduate minor, still less a doctorate.

If it is not an academic discipline, then it is irrelevant to note how many people work in the area, not how many books appear each year. It may well be a thriving area of interest and enthusiasm, but it is in so sense an academic or scholarly discipline.
Let's take the field of numismatics, for example. Numismatics is the study of coins, particularly historical coins. This is an important source for ancient history.

Where can one major in numismatics? No college in America that I can find offers a major in numismatics. (The University of Vienna does have an Institute for numismatics, and there are claims that one can get a bachelors or masters degree in the subject, but reading the materials it appears to be a minor rather than a major). The only classes in numismatics regularly offered in America are not offered at an accredited university. Should we therefore refer to it as the "discredited cranky pseudo-science" of numismatics?
Is it perhaps that no credible academic institution of any kind, . . . views [numismatics] as an authentic or respectable academic discipline?
Tomorrow, I will suggest some other "pseudo-sciences" that fit these criteria.