Heather Steffen, The Struggle for the University in the Progressive Era 2010 07 13

| By Kevin C. Brown |


July 13, 2010 — This week on History for the Future, I interviewed Heather Steffen on the structure of the labor force at American universities.  We discussed the increasing use of the casual labor of adjunct teachers, the crisis in the tenure system, and highly exploitative world of student internships. Steffen pointed to the ways that recent changes in the university may serve as a “canary in the coal mine” for broader developments in U.S. capitalism.

Heather Steffen is a doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University in Literary and Cultural Studies where she is writing a dissertation entitled, “The Struggle for the University in the Progressive Era.” She also serves on the delegate assembly and the committee on the status graduate students in the profession for the Modern Language Association, and was recently featured in an forum in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the future of graduate education in the humanities ( click here to read the forum!).

At the end of the show Heather mentioned a few sources for further reading on issues facing universities. Here are links to the sources she suggested: How the University Works blogThe American Association of University Professors, andThe American Federation of Teachers. And Heather’s brand new blog on the university is

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