Early American Studies in the Neoliberal University

SEA Roundtable

Beginning with brief comments from 5 participants, we hope to generate a broader conversation that addresses this fundamental question: How do scholars, teachers, and students of Early American Studies respond to the conditions we encounter in “the neoliberal university.”  The Rountable will advance discussions about how Early Americanists can challenge such neoliberal assumptions and assertions about higher education as the following:

  • education’s sole purpose is to train potential employees;
  • scholarship must be based on the perceived needs and desires of private, corporate entities;
  • the arts, humanities and social sciences, in particular, are insufficiently focused on narrowly-defined professional training and skills;
  • resources dedicated to these disciplines are diverted from more “useful” institutional units;
  • technological innovation can replace “obsolete”models of teaching and research;
  • faculty are “course mentors” and “subject matter experts”* rather than teachers.

In light of the conditions that arise from these formulations, the Roundtable will offer strategies for resisting them by describing and drawing on our strengths as Early Americanist scholars and teachers. Our discussants are:

*Rachel Boccio, Doctoral Candidate,
University of Rhode Island

*Lorrayne Carroll, (convener), Associate Professor of English and Women and Gender Studies Faculty Member
University of Southern Maine

*Raymond Craig, Professor and Associate Dean
Kent State University

*Annette Kolodny, College of Humanities Professor Emerita of American Literature and Culture
University of Arizona

*Lisa Logan, Associate Professor of English
University of Central Florida

*Robert Naeher, History and Social Science Department
Emma Willard School, Troy NY

*See the homepage for Western Governors University @ http://indiana.wgu.edu/about_WGU_indiana/wgu_faculty


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