The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities, Tenth Anniversary Edition

... Donoghue is surely right about this, but I think it is important to describe the manufactured crisis in economic capital (i.e., the slow-death by austerity and non-replacement of tenure-line faculty) as a real threat rather than an imagined one to professors and teachers throughout higher-education. Indeed, Donoghue demonstrates that the destruction of tenure-line professors and transformations in definitions of intellectual property do not bode well for non-tenure-track professors as well (Donoghue 2018). ...
Full-text available
This essay begins by surveying our current moment in the humanities, diagnosing the language of crisis that frames much of the discourse about them. It argues that the crisis is a manufactured economic one not a symbolic one. The problems with many recent proposals—such as the new aestheticism, surface reading, and postcritique—is that they attempt to solve an economic crisis on the level of symbolic capital. They try to save the humanities by redisciplining them and making them mirror various forms amateur inquiry. I describe these approaches as the new enclosures, attempts at returning the humanities to disciplinarity with the hopes that administrative and neoliberal forces will find what we do more palatable. Instead of attempting to appease such forces by being pliant and apolitical, we need a new workerist militancy (daring to be “bad workers” from the point of view of neoliberal managerial rhetorics) to combat the economic crisis produced by neoliberalism. Meanwhile, on the level of knowledge production, the humanities need to resist the demand to shrink the scope of their inquiry to the disciplinary. The humanities, at their best, have been interdisciplinary. They have foregrounded both the subject of the human and all the complex forces that shape, limit, and exist in relationship and contradiction with the human. The essay concludes by arguing that the humanities, to resist neoliberal symbolic logics, need to embrace both a critical humanism, and the crucial challenges to this humanism that go by the name of antihumanism and posthumanism. It is only by putting these three discourses in negative dialectical tension with each other that we can begin to imagine a reinvigorated humanities that can address the challenges of the twenty-first century.
In this chapter, we show how an already severely weakened commitment to academic shared governance was further undermined during COVID-19 through the workings of “pandemic task forces” established on campuses around the country that often served as vehicles to carry management agendas under the guise of “faculty consultation.” We examine a disturbing set of illustrations of both the implicit and also explicit allocation of COVID response team authority to campus executives in student affairs and athletics, as opposed to faculty-supported leaders in academic affairs. We explore the various manifestations of these exercises in the manufacture of consent, including those that are entangled with local and state officials. We discuss the consequences for faculty power, control over curriculum, and the conditions of teaching and learning.KeywordsPandemic task forcesCOVID-19 restart planningCurriculum controlControl of teaching and learningDismantling of shared governance
In 2016, more than five thousand faculty members and coaches in the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties successfully struck in the union’s first ever such action in thirty-five years as an official bargaining agent. Two faculty members active in the union reflect on their experience in a wide-ranging interview about how years of careful, often painstaking organizing made such a success possible. The strike was the product of both ten years of increasingly acrimonious negotiations and considerable tactical work by a new generation of union members who learned a number of lessons from the process, including the necessary work of persuading faculty members that they, too, were workers.
This research analyses tweets, interviews and observations to grasp power relations between oppressive education and liberative technology in Arab contexts. It ascertains that liberative technology may limit oppressive education and unveils that oppressive education may restrict liberative technology or exploit technology as instruments for further oppression. It discloses that oppressive education may apply liberative technology to oppress itself or may tolerate liberative technology to gain vested interests. It reasons that students may use technology to counter-oppress oppressive education, meaning that education and students undertake repressive ‘battles’, turning oppression into a lifestyle. It proclaims that students may, online, incite the public against education. It indicates that, in societies where the crowd is more powerful than authorities, oppressed students can, virtually, unite against oppressive education, meaning that ‘the oppressed’ (students) becomes more powerful than ‘the oppressor’ (education). The take-home message is that, despite the growing philosophisation of technology as oppressive tools, individuals are, as found by this article, not powerless, as they can turn technologies into liberative tools and develop emancipation out of oppression. A further proposition to be drawn from the findings is that students are not apolitically decent, as they can encounter downward oppression with even crueller upward oppression.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.