A Hedge Fund With A Drone Fleet: EdWork in 2022 with Annie McClanahan & Asheesh Kapur Siddique (An American Vandal Podcast Season Premiere)

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The American Vandal Podcast returns today for its fourth season. Over the next two months, we will be releasing seven episodes under the title of “The World’s Work.”

The World’s Work was a business-friendly publication which Mark Twain sometimes satirized and these episodes will feature conversations about the past, present, and potential future of work.

In the series premier, Matt Seybold speaks with two scholars who have done extensive research on the labor (and other economic) conditions of higher education in the United States. Originally scheduled to coincide with the restart of federal student loan payments (which has since been postponed until May), the conversation includes extensive discussion of the effects of the student debt crisis on academic work, as well as adjunctification, outsourcing, extractive EdTech entrepreneuriship, the COVID shock doctrine, the Navient settlement, the tuition price fixing scandal, and much more.

Annie McClanahan is Associate Professor of English at University of California, Irvine. She is also the author of Dead Pledges: Debt, Crises, & 21st-Century Culture (Stanford UP, 2016). She has also written extensively about secular stagnation and, most recently, about service work (see episode bibliography), which will be the subject of her next book. She is also on the advisory committee of UCI Lifted. (Twitter: @anniemcclanahan)

Asheesh Kapur Siddique is Assistant Professor of History at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His book project is tentatively-titled “Rule Through Paper: Archive & Language In The Governance of the British Empire.” In 2020, a selection from this project – “The Archival Epistemology of Political Economy in the Early Modern British Atlantic World” – won the Dorothy Ross Article Prize for best article on U.S. intellectual history by an emerging scholar. He has also published extensively on HigherEd issues in venues like Inside Higher Ed and Teen Vogue (see episode bibliography). (Twitter: @AsheeshKSi)

This season also includes special theme music, “Work Song” by Dan Reeder, courtesy of the artist and Oh Boy Records. Please check out Dan Reeder’s extraordinary catalog of music on Apple & Spotify. (Twitter: @DanReeder)

“The World Work” is hosted by Matt Seybold, who is executive produce of The American Vandal Podcast and resident scholar at the Center For Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College. (Twitter: @MEASeybold)

Episode Bibliography:

Duke University Press’s Critical University Studies Syllabus

Stacey Cowley & Tera Bernard, “Navient Agrees To Cancel 66,000 Student Borrowers’ Loans To Settle Claims of Predatory Lending” (New York Times, 1.13.2022)

Kelly Grotke, “Are Endowments Damaging Colleges & Universities?” (The American Prospect, 2.12.2021)

Molly Hensley-Clancy, “How America’s Student Loan Giant Dropped The Ball” (BuzzFeed, 2.13.2017)

David W. Hill, “The Injuries of Platform Logistics” (Media, Culture, & Society 42.4, May 2020)

Anna Kornbluh, “Academe’s Coronavirus Shock Doctrine” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 3.12.2020)

Leigh Clair La Berge, “Decommodified Labor: Conceptualizing Work After The Wage” (Lateral, Spring 2018)

Jany Mayer, “How Right-Wing Billionaires Infiltrated Higher Education” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2.12.2016)

Annie McClanahan, “Coming Due: Accounting For Debt, Counting On Crisis” (South Atlantic Quarterly, Spring 2011)

Annie McClanahan, “Life Expectancies: Mortality, Exhaustion, & Economic Stagnation” (Theory & Event, April 2019)

Annie McClanahan, “The Living Indebted: Student Militancy & The Financialization of Debt” (qui parle, Fall/Winter 2011)

Annie McClanahan, “Secular Stagnation & The Discourse of Reproductive Limit,” The Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics (2018)

Annie McClanahan, “TV & Tipworkification” (Post45, 1.10.2019)

Annie McClanahan & Jon-David Settell, “Service Work, Sex Work, & The ‘Prostitute Imaginary'” (South Atlantic Quarterly, Summer 2021)

Robert Meister, “Confronting the Corporate University: From Cold War Federalization to Financialized Higher Education” (Public Seminar, 3.29.2017)

Edward Nik-Khah & Robert Van Horn, “Inland Empire: Economic Imperialism As An Imperative Of Chicago Neoliberalism” (Journal Of Economic Methodology, Fall 2012)

Asheesh Kapur Siddique, “Academic Freedom Came Under Attack In The Post-9/11 United States” (Teen Vogue, 9.8.2021)

Asheesh Kapur Siddique, “Campus Cancel Culture Freakouts Obscure The Power of University Boards” (Teen Vogue, 5.19.2021)

Asheesh Kapur Siddique, “The Insufficiency of Education” (Inside Higher Ed, 1.19.2021)

Melissa Korn, “Yale, Georgetown, Other Top Schools Illegally Collude to Limit Student Financial Aid, Lawsuit Alleges” (Wall Street Journal, 1.10.2022)

Spencer Weber Waller, The Law & Economics Virus” (Cardozo Law Review, November 2009)