Announcement: The Baffler Joins American Studies for Discussion on Higher Ed


Guys. Deep breath. You are about to learn some awesome, awesome news.

We’re extremely excited to announce to you that John Summers and Thomas Frank – the editors of The Baffler – will be joining the Department of American Studies for a conversation about the future of higher education. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 30, exact time and location TBD. We’ll keep you posted with further details on Facebook, Twitter, and right here at AMS :: ATX.

Here is a brief synopsis of the event’s guiding questions:

College is the best thing in the world; college is a complete ripoff. How are these two statements compatible? How do they differ? How can we assess the campus battles of this era, which are more focused on money than the niceties of Western Civ. and Great Books? And what are we to make of the fact that a college education, which was essentially free for the World War II generation, serves today to fasten the bonds of inescapable indebtedness to an entire generation of students?

John Summers is the editor-in-chief of The Baffler and founder and president of the Baffler Foundation. He’s the author of an essay collection, Every Fury on Earth, and editor of three collections of cultural criticism: The Politics of Truth: Selected Writings of C. Wright Mills, Dwight Macdonald’s Masscult and Midcult, and James Agee’s Cotton Tenants. He received his PhD in intellectual history from the University of Rochester in 2006. From 2000 to 2007 he taught social studies at Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thomas Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and the Easy Chair columnist at Harper’s. He is the author of five books, including What’s the Matter with Kansas? and Pity the Billionaire, both national bestsellers. He has been a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a guest columnist for the New York Times. In 2004 he was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Nonfiction. He received his PhD in history from the University of Chicago and now lives in Bethesda, Maryland.