During the past few decades, a spectre has emerged, which is now haunting the Arts and Humanities in the Western world. The question posed by this spectre is: What is the usefulness of studying Arts and Humanities? This has manifested itself in a decreasing acknowledgment, which again has resulted in considerable downsizing and diverse forms of crisis management. In this political realm this volume provides an alternative story about Arts and Humanities through the more constructive phrasing of the question: Which needs in society do the Arts and Humanities respond to and accommodate? The volume is divided into two sections. The first section addresses the “Historical positions of Arts and Humanities in society: Criticism, control and collaboration”. Here, the overall question is discussed at a general level. The aim of the second section “How to reinvent the Arts and Humanities: Defining disciplines and cross disciplinary developments” is to discuss a possible renaissance of the arts and humanities, focusing on different disciplines and cross disciplinary developments.