My colleagues in the humanities support Barack Obama nearly unanimously, some of them still believing the salvation narrative that developed in 2008 whereby the junior senator from Illinois would rescue the nation from the hell of the previous eight years—not to mention four centuries of white supremacy. But one thing about their admiration doesn’t jibe: The President cares little about the humanities. My colleagues admire his deliberative style and academic pedigree, but in speeches and policies he expresses no distinctive appreciation for Homer, opera, Baroque architecture, pragmatist philosophy, folk art, or any other standard topic in the disciplines. In an October 2010 interview in Rolling Stone, he listed his iPod inventory:

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