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Lecture at 3:00 pm, ML 453

David Gibbs

24 April 2023, 11:30 am at ML 453

Centering the Endowment in the Contemporary University and the Rise and Fall of the Humanities in the Age of Davos Man
Lecture at 3:00 pm, ML 453

Location: ML 453

This paper explores the way in which the academic core of the American University has been reshaped by the needs and demands of the billionaire donor class. What the recent hand wringing about the decline of the Humanities misses is the superstructural transformation and support of and for contemporary research in an age of financialization. I also want to give flesh to certain ideas laid out in Virtue Hoarders, regarding the sycophantic behavior of the Professional Managerial Classes in aspiringĀ and catering to the capitalist class. The bourgeois ideals of disinterestedness in research and the arts have given way to PMC voluntary subjugation to the logic of finance capital.

Catherine Liu

Catherine Liu is professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California Irvine. She is the author of the book Virtue Hoarders: the Case Against the Professional Managerial Class (University of Minnesota Press, 2021). She received her Ph.D. in French from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is also the author of American Idyll: Anti-Elitism as Cultural Critique (University of Iowa Press, 2011), a book about the emergence of Cultural Studies, cultural populism and its embrace of irrationality within the post-1968 progressive academic world. Her novel, Oriental Girls Desire Romance about 1980s New York City remains in print with Kaya Press. She lives in Southern California and writes for Jacobin and has appeared recently on the podcasts It’s Not Just in Your Head, Darts and Letters, Chapo Trap House and Bungacast talking about her book and the class formation of credentialed elites in the 2021 global economy.