Academic Hacks

The pun of the headline was unintended. Anyway, here is a short interview with Susan in Psychology Today — BTW, I highly recommend her Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate. The quote below captures the bind that befalls many humanities academics and is therefore a major driver of their hackery — ostrich-ism:

So, in the crudest career terms, yes, I suppose it would be more prudent to conform to the accepted academic pieties and hypocrisies or to avoid touchy topics altogether. And many professors seem to manage that quite well and even to thrive in the atmosphere of “lying and self-laudatory hallucination” that pervades universities today. But I simply couldn’t conduct my intellectual life that way, and to conduct my professional life like that would be just horrible.

In short, I’d much rather face the professional risks than sacrifice my independence. That’s why, when I was putting together Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate and a friend asked me: “Don’t you have enough enemies already?” I gave the answer you find in the introduction to the book: “Better ostracism than ostrich-ism.”