Former Yale professor and author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, William Deresiewicz, wrote an essay for the latest issue of Harper’s called “The Neoliberal Arts: How College Sold Its Soul to the Market”. It’s a thoroughly damning portrait of the corporatization of higher education in America. But to be honest, nothing new here. Puritanical preachers have been railing against the insidious creep of Mammon-worship since the inception of our fair colonies.
It’s also nothing especially new for those of us who are refugees from academia. As Marc Bousquet has so elegantly put it, when you’re “expunged from a system as waste”, one benefit is a heightened capacity to sniff out the bullshit emanating from said system.
So where can we exiled life-of-the-minders, expunged from the academic system as waste, take our once-cloistered but now liberated creativity?