U.S. Intellectual History Blog

The Corporate Professor

I highly recommend the Spring 2012 edition of The Hedgehog Review, which is becoming one of my favorite magazines. The issue dedicates a large chunk of space to an engaging roundtable discussion on “The Corporate Professor.” Given current trends in academia, made evident in the recent firing of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan for protecting “obscure academic departments” like classics and German, instead of buying into “strategic dynamism,” whatever that is, the Hedgehog roundtable is timely. (It’s also somewhat ironic given that The Hedgehog Review is published by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the, yep, University of Virginia.) One of the pieces, “Do College Teachers Have to Be Scholars?”–by Frank Donoghue–persuasively argues that we would be better off redefining scholarship to include work spent preparing to teach, such as participating in reading groups. Another worth reading is the very useful “A Bibliographic Essay on the University, the Market, and Professors,” by Ethan Schrum, a regular USIH conference attendee.

Other items in this issue of The Hedgehog Review that might be of potential interest to readers of this blog:

Jackson Lears, “The Trigger of History: Capitalism, Modernity, and the Politics of Place.” In this essay Lears responds to the overarching theme of the issue–determinism–by arguing that earlier modernist thinkers like Marx, Weber, and Freud were much less deterministic in their thinking than their later more orthodox epigones and, more importantly, than our contemporary celebrants of technologically-determined progress. 

Also, Edward J. K. Gitre review’s Grace Elizabeth Hale’s new book: A Nation of Outsiders: How the White Middle-Class Fell in Love with Rebellion in Postwar America. It seems this book relates well to our recent discussion about style and substance (here and here) since one of Hale’s arguments is that both countercultural radicals and New Right activists “fell in love with rebellion,” or at least, the rebel style. Based on our recent debate, it seems likely that Bill Fine and L.D. would find Hale’s argument amenable, and that I would not. But I suppose I’ll have to read the book to know for sure.

One Thought on this Post

  1. Yes! I’ve been meaning to write about this for weeks—I was reading it during my recent move. I especially liked the articles by Nolan, Lears, Tuchman (since I haven’t read Wannabe U.), Schrum, and—last but not least—Wellmon. – TL

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