William Deresiewicz, until recently an English professor at Yale, and Mark Edmundson, an English professor at the University of Virginia, discuss the case of Annemarie Beane, who was recently
denied tenure not rehired to a second one-year term at Wesleyan in part because "only" 75 percent or so of her students thought her teaching was either good or outstanding.
Ideas contributor Mark Oppenheimer tells Beane's full story (she's "a distant, poorer cousin of the family that owns the L.L. Bean clothing business") here. And the professors' full conversation is here. They also touch on "Why Marxist professors don't make Marxist students" and "The tragedy of overspecialization in academia."
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.