After the University, Long Live the Academy!

I do not normally reblog things, but look at this.

This is the slightly edited text of a talk I delivered as the Hansford M. Epes Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities at Davidson College on October 19, 2017. It gathers some of my thinking and writing from the past six months around the question of the university. And, as with most things I write these days, I am particularly grateful to Matt McAdam for helping me think through these big questions and for making generous contributions. 

In 1917 a group of German university students invited the renowned sociologist Max Weber to Munich to participate in a lecture series entitled “intellectual work as vocation” [geistige Arbeit als Beruf]. The students met weekly in the backroom of a bookstore as the Bavarian chapter of the National Federation of Independent Student Groups, a loose association of students established around 1900 to make sense of the radical changes German universities had…

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