The Work of the Humanities in the Financial University: Crisis, Closure and a Market Correction
This seminar will consider the role of the humanities in undergirding the non-profit character and status of the university in the early twenty-first century, a designation that has become crucial for universities' specific form of capital accumulation. Reviewing contemporary fiscal crises, the so-called "crisis of the humanities," and recent college closures, I will argue that the humanities play a dual role in the contemporary university: they both make money for universities and ground the discourse of losing it.
Leigh Claire La Berge is an Associate Professor of English at BMCC CUNY. She specializes in the intersection of contemporary cultural production and economic forms. Her research has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Professional Staff Congress. La Berge is the author of Scandals and Abstraction: Financial Fiction of the Long 1980s (Oxford, 2014) and the forthcoming Wages Against Artwork: Decommodified Labor and the Claims of Socially Engaged Art (Duke, 2019). She has published multiple articles which have appeared in venues including the Radical History Review, South Atlantic Quarterly, Postmodern Culture, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.