EdTech, AI, & The Unbundling of Research & Teaching (Criticism LTD, Episode #13)

Apple Podcasts


Resonate Recordings

A sometimes uncanny Halloween week exploration of the EdTech griftopia. Who’s monetizing our data? How is EdTech being used to bust unions [8:00]? How does EdTech reveal the interdependence of teaching and research, and the horror of their unbundling [36:00]? How does being a union member effect literary studies research [61:00]? Is AI the end of literary criticism [81:00]?

For transcripts and additional commentary, please subscribe to Matt Seybold’s newsletter.


Bryan Alexander is Senior Scholar at Georgetown University, the author of Universities on Fire (Johns Hopkins UP, 2023) and host of The Future Trends Forum.

Sarah Brouillette is Professor of English at Carleton University and the author of Literature & The Creative Economy (Stanford UP, 2014), UNESCO & The Fate of The Literary (Stanford UP, 2019), Underdevelopment & African Literature (Cambridge, 2020).

Max Chapnick is a Postdoctoral Teaching Associate in English at Northeastern University and the co-producer of the C19 Podcast episode, “PhDs Who Union.” He has also been a Quarry Farm Fellow, a Park Church Lecturer, and presented “Mark Twain vs. Christian Science & Empire” at the 2023 Quarry Farm Symposium on Invention, Technology, & Science Fiction.

Francesca Colonese is a Graduate Student & Predoctoral Instructor at University of Washington and appears on the C19 Podcast episode, “PhDs Who Union.”

Brian Deyo is Associate Professor of English at Grand Valley State University.

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) and co-author of the “Ed-Tech” chapter in University Keywords (Johns Hopkins UP, TBD).

Louise McCune is a Graduate Student in English at University of California, Irvine and the co-author of the “Ed-Tech” chapter in University Keywords (Johns Hopkins UP, TBD).

Lawrence Lorraine Mullen is a Graduate Student in English at University of Buffalo, Instructor at Schenectady County Community College, and co-producer of the C19 Podcast episode, “PhDs Who Union.”

Ted Underwood is Professor of English and Information Science at University of Illinois, the author of Distant Horizons (U. Chicago, 2019), and the blog The Stone & The Shell.

Matt Seybold is Associate Professor of American Literature & Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, resident scholar at the Center For Mark Twain Studies, and executive producer of The American Vandal PodcastHe’s also co-editor (with Michelle Chihara) of The Routledge Companion to Literature & Economics (2018) and the author of “Jason Wingard’s EdTech Griftopia.”


The American Vandal Podcast is delighted that Joe Locke and Circle 9 Records have given us permission to use Locke’s new album, Makramas the soundtrack to the “Criticism LTD” series. Locke’s quartet features Lorin Cohen on bass, Jim Ridl on keys, and Samvel Sarkisyan on drums, as well as Locke on vibes.

Tracks featured in this episode include Locke’s original compositions “Makram,” “Elegy For Us All,” “Tuskin,” and “Shifting Moons.”

And his arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life.”

Episode Bibliography:

Bryan Alexander & Matt Seybold, “Building A Digital Campus Dystopia” The Future Trends Forum (April 20, 2023)

Sandy Baum & Michael McPherson, “The Human Factor: The Promise & Limits of Online Education” Daedalus (Fall 2019)

Ben Blatt, Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve (Simon & Schuster, 2017)

Will Bunch, “Temple Is A Campus In Crisis. Jason Wingard Is The Wrong Choice To Fix It.” Philadelphia Inquirer (March 2, 2023)

Max Chapnick, Lawrence Lorraine Mullen, et al. “PhDs Who Union” C19 Podcast (August 7, 2023)

Michelle Chihara, “Radical Flexibility: Driving For Lyft & The Future of Work in the Platform Economy” (Distinktion, November 2021)

John Guillory, Professing Criticism: Essays On The Organization of Literary Study (U. Chicago, 2022)

L. Hamilton, H. Daniels, C. M. Smith, & C. Eaton, “The Private Side of Public Universities: Third-Part Providers & Platform Capitalism” Berkeley Center For Studies In Higher Education (2022)

Daniel Herman, “The End of High-School English” The Atlantic (December 9, 2022)

Jay Caspian King, “What’s The Point of Reading Writing By Humans?” The New Yorker (March 31, 2023)

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “Paranoid Reading & Reparative Reading; or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Introduction Is About You” Novel Gazing: Queer Readings of Fiction (Duke UP, 1997)

Karl Marx, Grundrisse (1858)

Annie McClanahan, Dead Pledges: Debt, Crises, & 21st-Century Culture (Stanford UP, 2016)

Annie McClanahan & Louise McCune, “Ed-Tech” in University Keywords (Johns Hopkins UP, TBD)

Annie McClanahan, Matt Seybold, & Asheesh Kapur Siddique, “A Hedge Fund With A Drone Fleet: EdWork in 2022” The American Vandal Podcast (January 31, 2022)

Robert Ovetz, “The Algorithmic University: On-Line Education, Learning Management Systems, & The Struggle Over Academic Labor” Critical Sociology (November 2021)

Robert Ovetz, “Conscious Linkage: The Proletarianization of Academic Labor in the Algorithmic University” New Politics (Summer 2021)

Robert Ovetz, “Click To Save & Return To Course: Online Education, Adjunctification, & The Disciplining of Academic Labor” Work Organization, Labour, & Globalisation (Spring 2017)

Corey Robin, “How ChatGPT Changed My Plans For The Fall” Corey Robin (July 30, 2023)

Jeff Schatten, “Will Artificial Intelligence Kill College Writing?” The Chronicle of Higher Education (September 14, 2022)

Matt Seybold, “Jason Wingard’s EdTech Griftopia” Los Angeles Review of Books (February 23, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Golden Age of The Working Critic,” The American Vandal Podcast (August 7, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Hungover From The Bad Old Days of High Theory,” The American Vandal Podcast (August 14, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Ponzi Austerity in The Age of Cultural Abundance” The American Vandal Podcast (August 21, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Ponzi Austerity & The Monolingual University” The American Vandal Podcast (August 25, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Racist Interpretation Complex” The American Vandal Podcast (August 28, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “The Chicago Fight & ‘Criticism Inc.’” The American Vandal Podcast (September 5, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Politics & The Paracademy” The American Vandal Podcast (September 23, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Brittle Paper & The Blogossance” The American Vandal Podcast (October 2, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “BookTube, BookTok, Wattpad, & The Audible Creation Exchange” The American Vandal Podcast (October 12, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Criticism in The Conglomerate Era” The American Vandal Podcast (October 17, 2023)

Matt Seybold et al, “Podcasting Criticism” The American Vandal Podcast (October 27, 2023)

Susan Snyder, “Striking Grad Students Feel Toll of Temple’s Tactics, But Remain Steadfast” Philadelphia Inquirer (February 14, 2023)

Taylor Swaak, “Students Say Room Scans During Online Tests Are Invasive” Chronicle of Higher Education (August 24, 2022)

Shea Swauger, “Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education” Critical Digital Pedagogy (Press Books, 2021)

Ted Underwood, Distant Horizons: Digital Evidence & Literary Change (U. Chicago, 2019)

Ted Underwood, “We Can Save What Matters About Writing – At A Price” The Stone & The Shell (July 31, 2023)

Ted Underwood, “Liberally-Educated Students Need To Be More Than Consumers of AI” The Stone & The Shell (September 10, 2023)

Yanis Varoufakis, Adults In The Room (Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux, 2017)

Yanis Varoufakis, “The Future of Capitalism” Robert Heilbroner Lecture at The New School (April 27, 2016)

Yanis Varoufakis, And The Weak Suffer What They Must: Europe’s Crisis & America’s Economic Future (Bold Typer, 2016)

Lindsay Weinberg, “Mental Health & The Self-Tracking Student” Catalyst (Spring 2021)