The Problem with Academia Today: Corporatism, Not Identity Politics

Wes Alwan
partiallyexaminedlife.com

Andrew Delbanco, author of his own book on what ails today’s university, gives the thumbs down to another critique that tilts at feminists and queer theorists: The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind.

Delbanco is sympathetic to the notion that identity politics has taken its toll on academic life (as am I). But apparently it’s just not as significant force in the academy as it once was:

When I look around, I see younger colleagues returning to close readings of literary classics. I see an emerging synthesis of the old political history focused on kings and presidents with the newer social history of ordinary people written “from the bottom up.” I see graduate students leading discussions on Plato in coffee houses, and undergraduates flocking to such new fields as environmental science in hope of acquiring the knowledge they need to make a positive difference in the world.

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