Cary Nelson, Ph.D. is known not only as a blunt and devastatingly witty commentator on higher education but also as an activist working hard to reform it. For the last 17 years he has served on the National Council of the American Association of University Professors, the past six as president.
Professor Nelson has a history of activism. As a student, Nelson joined the famous 1963 Washington, D.C., march where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Later he worked as an assistant teacher in Harlem in New York for a year. He was active in the anti-war movement in the 1960s and served as a draft counselor during the Vietnam War. As a scholar, one of his main interests is in preserving the cultural heritage of the American Left. He edited the first comprehensive anthology of modern American poetry for Oxford University press, at the same time addressing contemporary topics like political correctness, hate speech regulations, sexual harassment, academic unionization and the financial crisis in higher education.
Nelson received a B.A. from Antioch College in Ohio (1967) and a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in New York (1970). Since the fall of 1970 he has taught modern poetry and literary theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of English.
His twenty-five authored or edited books include Higher Education Under Fire: Politics, Economics, and the Crisis of the Humanities (1994), Will Work for Food: Academic Labor in Crisis (1997), Academic Keywords: A Devil’s Dictionary for Higher Education (1999), Revolutionary Memory: Recovering the Poetry of the American Left (2001), Office Hours : Activism and Change in the Academy (2004) and No University is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom (2010).
Sponsored by the UM-Flint Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Harding Mott University Center Michigan Rooms
Booksigning immediately follows
The Barnes and Noble University Bookstore will have copies of Dr. Nelson’s books for sale before and after the event.