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Blow Up the Humanities

Toby Miller

A short, sharp, and provocative book, Blow Up the Humanities has esteemed scholar Toby Miller declaring that there are two humanities in the United States. One is the venerable, powerful humanities of private universities; the other is the humanities of state schools, which focus mainly on job prospects. There is a class division between the two—both in terms of faculty research and student background—and it must end.

Miller critically lays waste to the system. He examines scholarly publishing as well as media and cultural studies to show how to restructure the humanities by studying popular cultural phenomena, like video games. Miller ultimately insists that these two humanities must merge in order to survive and succeed in producing an aware and concerned citizenry.

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The Branding of the American Mind

How Universities Capture, Manage, and Monetize Intellectual Property and Why It Matters

Jacob H. Rooksby

Universities generate an enormous amount of intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, Internet domain names, and even trade secrets. Until recently, universities often ceded ownership of this property to the faculty member or student who created or discovered it in the course of their research. Increasingly, though, universities have become protective of this property, claiming it for their own use and licensing it as a revenue source instead of allowing it to remain in the public sphere. Many universities now behave like private corporations, suing to protect trademarked sports logos, patents, and name brands.

Yet how can private rights accumulation and enforcement further the public interest in higher education? What is to be gained and lost as institutions become more guarded and contentious in their orientation toward intellectual property? In this pioneering book, law professor Jacob H. Rooksby uses a mixture of qualitative, quantitative, and legal research methods to grapple with those central questions, exposing and critiquing the industry’s unquestioned and growing embrace of intellectual property from the perspective of research in law, higher education, and the social sciences.

While knowledge creation and dissemination have a long history in higher education, using intellectual property as a vehicle for rights staking and enforcement is a relatively new and, as Rooksby argues, dangerous phenomenon for the sector. The Branding of the American Mind points to higher education’s love affair with intellectual property itself, in all its dimensions, including newer forms that are less tied to scholarly output. The result is an unwelcome assault on the public’s interest in higher education.

Presuming no background knowledge of intellectual property, and ending with a call to action, The Branding of the American Mind explores applicable laws, legal regimes, and precedent in plain English, making the book appealing to anyone concerned for the future of higher education.

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Brave New Words

How Literature Will Save the Planet

The activist tradition in American literature has long testified to the power of words to change people and the power of people to change the world, yet in recent years many professional humanists have chosen to distract themselves with a postmodern fundamentalism of indeterminacy and instability rather than engage with social and political issues. Throughout her bold and provocative call to action, Elizabeth Ammons argues that the responsibility now facing humanists is urgent: inside and outside academic settings, they need to revive the liberal arts as a progressive cultural force that offers workable ideas and inspiration in the real-world struggle to achieve social and environmental justice.
      Brave New Words challenges present and future literary scholars and teachers to look beyond mere literary critique toward the concrete issue of social change and how to achieve it. Calling for a profound realignment of thought and spirit in the service of positive social change, Ammons argues for the continued importance of multiculturalism in the twenty-first century despite attacks on the concept from both right and left. Concentrating on activist U.S. writers—from ecocritics to feminists to those dedicated to exposing race and class biases, from Jim Wallis and Cornel West to Winona LaDuke and Paula Moya and many others—she calls for all humanists to link their work to the progressive literature of the last half century, to insist on activism in the service of positive change as part of their mission, and to teach the power of hope and action to their students.
      As Ammons clearly demonstrates, much of American literature was written to expose injustice and motivate readers to work for social transformation. She challenges today’s academic humanists to address the issues of hope and purpose by creating a practical activist pedagogy that gives students the knowledge to connect their theoretical learning to the outside world. By relying on the transformative power of literature and replacing nihilism and powerlessness with conviction and faith, the liberal arts can offer practical, useful inspiration to everyone seeking to create a better world.

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Breakpoint

The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education

Jon McGee

The challenges facing colleges and universities today are profound and complex. Fortunately, Jon McGee is an ideal guide through this dynamic marketplace. In Breakpoint, he argues that higher education is in the midst of an extraordinary moment of demographic, economic, and cultural transition that has significant implications for how colleges understand their mission, their market, and their management. Drawing from an extensive assessment of demographic and economic trends, McGee presents a broad and integrative picture of these changes while stressing the importance of decisive campus leadership. He describes the key forces that influence higher education and provides a framework from which trustees, presidents, administrators, faculty, and policy makers can address pressing issues in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Although McGee avoids endorsing one-size-fits-all solutions, he suggests a number of concrete strategies for handling prospective students and developing pedagogical practices, curricular content and delivery, and management structures. Practical and compelling, Breakpoint will help higher education leaders make choices that advance their institutional values and serve their students and the common good for generations to come.

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Bridging the Gaps

College Pathways to Career Success

College-for-all has become the new American dream. Most high school students today express a desire to attend college, and 90% of on-time high school graduates enroll in higher education in the eight years following high school. Yet, degree completion rates remain low for non-traditional students—students who are older, low-income, or have poor academic achievement—even at community colleges that endeavor to serve them. What can colleges do to reduce dropouts? In Bridging the Gaps, education scholars James Rosenbaum, Caitlin Ahearn, and Janet Rosenbaum argue that when institutions focus only on bachelor’s degrees and traditional college procedures, they ignore other pathways to educational and career success. Using multiple longitudinal studies, the authors evaluate the shortcomings and successes of community colleges and investigate how these institutions can promote alternatives to BAs and traditional college procedures to increase graduation rates and improve job payoffs.
 
The authors find that sub-baccalaureate credentials—associate degrees and college certificates—can improve employment outcomes. Young adults who complete these credentials have higher employment rates, earnings, autonomy, career opportunities, and job satisfaction than those who enroll but do not complete credentials. Sub-BA credentials can be completed at community college in less time than bachelor’s degrees, making them an affordable option for many low-income students.
 
Bridging the Gaps shows that when community colleges overemphasize bachelor’s degrees, they tend to funnel resources into remedial programs, and try to get low-performing students on track for a BA. Yet, remedial programs have inconsistent success rates and can create unrealistic expectations, leading struggling students to drop out before completing any degree. The authors show that colleges can devise procedures that reduce remedial placements and help students discover unseen abilities, attain valued credentials, get good jobs, and progress on degree ladders to higher credentials.
 
To turn college-for-all into a reality, community college students must be aware of their multiple credential and career options. Bridging the Gaps shows how colleges can create new pathways for non-traditional students to achieve success in their schooling and careers.
 

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Building the Intentional University

Minerva and the Future of Higher Education

Stephen M. Kosslyn

Higher education is in crisis. It is too expensive, ineffective, and impractical for many of the world's students. But how would you reinvent it for the twenty-first century -- how would you build it from the ground up? Many have speculated about changing higher education, but Minerva has actually created a new kind of university program. Its founders raised the funding, assembled the team, devised the curriculum and pedagogy, recruited the students, hired the faculty, and implemented a bold vision of a new and improved higher education. This book explains that vision and how it is being realized.

The Minerva curriculum focuses on "practical knowledge" (knowledge students can use to adapt to a changing world); its pedagogy is based on scientific research on learning; it uses a novel technology platform to deliver small seminars in real time; and it offers a hybrid residential model where students live together, rotating through seven cities around the world. Minerva equips students with the cognitive tools they need to succeed in the world after graduation, building the core competencies of critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction. The book offers readers both the story of this grand and sweeping idea and a blueprint for transforming higher education.

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Buying the Best

Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education

Charles T. Clotfelter

Since the early 1980s, the rapidly increasing cost of college, together with what many see as inadequate attention to teaching, has elicited a barrage of protest. Buying the Best looks at the realities behind these criticisms--at the economic factors that are in fact driving the institutions that have been described as machines without brakes. In designing his study, Charles Clotfelter examines the escalation in spending in the arts and sciences at four elite institutions: Harvard, Duke, Chicago, and Carleton. He argues that the rise in costs has less to do with increasing faculty salaries or lowered productivity than with a broad-based effort to improve quality, provide new services to students, pay for large investments in new facilities and equipment (including computers), and ensure access for low-income students through increasingly expensive financial aid.

In Clotfelter's view, spiraling costs arise from the institutions' lofty ambitions and are made possible by steadily intensifying demand for places in the country's elite colleges and universities. Only if this demand slackens will universities be pressured to make cuts or pursue efficiencies. Buying the Best is the first study to make use of the internal historical records of specific institutions, as opposed to the frequently unreliable aggregate records made available by the federal government for the use of survey researchers. As such, it has the virtue of allowing Clotfelter to draw much more realistic comparative conclusions than have hitherto been reported. While acknowledging the obvious drawbacks of a small sample, Clotfelter notes that the institutions studied are significant for the disproportionate influence they, and comparable elite institutions, exercise upon research and upon the training of future leaders. The book contains a foreword by William G. Bowen, President of the Mellon Foundation, and Harold T. Shapiro, President of Princeton University.

"Concern about ever-rising costs runs like a thread through the myriad critiques of higher education that have been published in recent years. . . . One of the great contributions of Clotfelter's work is to dismiss easy explanations for the problems that worry us. With some of the scales removed from their eyes, both those with responsibility for the future of higher education and observers who continue to expect an ever-wider scope of effort from particular colleges and universities, can now adjust their focus. Armed with this original and extremely useful analysis, we can confront more directly (and with less romanticism) the real choices before us as we seek to employ limited resources most effectively in the service of teaching and research."-William G. Bowen, President, Mellon Foundation, Harold T. Shapiro, President, Princeton University, from the foreword

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Campus Sexual Assault

College Women Respond

Lauren J. Germain

A 2014 report issued by the White House Council on Women and Girls included the alarming statistic that one in five female college students in the United States experience some form of campus sexual assault. Despite more than fifty years of anti-rape activism and over two decades of federal legislation regarding campus sexual violence, sexual assault on American college and university campuses remains prevalent, under-reported, and poorly understood. A principle reason for this lack of understanding is that the voices of women who have experienced campus sexual assault have been largely absent from academic discourse about the issue.

In Campus Sexual Assault, Lauren J. Germain focuses attention on the post–sexual assault experiences of twenty-six college women. She reframes conversations about sexual violence and student agency on American college campuses by drawing insight directly from the stories of how survivors responded individually to attacks, as well as how and why peers, family members, and school, medical, and civil authorities were (or were not) engaged in addressing the crimes.

Germain weaves together women’s narratives to show the women not as victims per se, but as individuals with the power to overcome these traumatic experiences. Aimed at students, parents, faculty members, university leaders, service providers, and lawmakers, Campus Sexual Assault seeks to put an end to the silence around sexual trauma by giving voice to those closest to it and providing tools for others to hear with—and to act on.

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Carved from Granite

West Point since 1902

Lance Betros

The United States Military Academy at West Point is one of America’s oldest and most revered institutions. Founded in 1802, its first and only mission is to prepare young men—and, since 1976, young women—to be leaders of character for service as commissioned officers in the United States Army. West Point’s success in accomplishing that mission has secured its reputation as the foremost leadership-development institution in the world. An Academy promotional poster says it this way: “At West Point, much of the history we teach was made by people we taught.” Carved from Granite is the story of how West Point goes about producing military leaders of character. An opening chapter on the Academy’s nineteenth-century history provides context for the topic of each subsequent chapter. As scholar and Academy graduate Lance Betros shows, West Point’s early history is interesting and colorful, but its history since then is far more relevant to the issues—and problems—that face the Academy today. Drawing from oral histories, archival sources, and his own experiences as a cadet and, later, a faculty member, Betros describes and assesses how well West Point has accomplished its mission. And, while West Point is an impressive institution in many ways, Betros does not hesitate to expose problems and challenge long-held assumptions. In a concluding chapter that is both subjective and interpretive, the author offers his prescriptions for improving the institution, focusing particularly on the areas of governance, admissions, and intercollegiate athletics. Photographs, tables, charts, and other graphics aid the clarity of the discussion and lend visual and historical interest. Carved from Granite: West Point since 1902 is the most authoritative history of the modern United States Military Academy written to date. There will be lively debate over some of the observations made in this book, but if they are followed, the author asserts that the Academy will emerge stronger and better able to accomplish its vital mission in the new century and beyond.

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The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel

Edited by Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm

How should we understand the international debate about the future of Israel and the Palestinians? Can justice be achieved in the Middle East? Until now, there was no single place for people to go to find detailed scholarly essays analyzing proposals to boycott Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement of which they are a part. This book for the first time provides the historical background necessary for informed evaluation of one of the most controversial issues of our day— the struggle between two peoples living side-by-side but with conflicting views of history and conflicting national ambitions. This book encourages empathy for all parties, but it also takes a cold look at what solutions are realistic and possible. In doing so, it tackles issues, like the role of anti-Semitism in calls for the abolition of the Jewish state, that many have found impossible to confront until now. The book gathers essays by an international cohort of scholars from Britain, Israel, and the United States.

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