According to [John Armstrong, University of Melbourne] the way [the professionalization of the humanities] all got started was an accident of history that divorced the humanities from a mass audience. “They were set up without any concern for marketing because when they were set up they reflected the dominant elite culture, which respected fine arts and history,” he says. “So the humanities just got on with doing what they did, and they still are. You can study the classics at Oxford and Cambridge and go on to be a merchant banker because the institutions have such prestige that being educated there is seen as a sign of high calibre; also, the guy hiring at the bank went to Oxford.”
via Lost art of speaking to a mass audience | The Australian.