What Hath English Wrought: The Corporate University’s Fast Food Discipline
I review some of the Modern Language Association's report from its Committee on Professional Employment strengths and weaknesses and in the process use it as an occasion to describe the wider implications of the history we have hidden from ourselves for decades. I will argue that English as a discipline bears a special responsibility for making the precipitous decline of higher education more likely in the coming decades. That is partly because English departments have made the college teacher what standard economic theory calls an elastic commodity, one for which there are any number of substitutes. At the end of the paper I will make some predictions about where we are heading, based on the mounting corporatization of higher education and on the increasing assaults on both tenure and academic freedom.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).