Frank Donoghue on The Last Professors

In 2008, Frank Donoghue, associate professor of English at The Ohio State University, published The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities, a no-holds-barred examination of the history and future of humanistic education in the U.S. Donoghue eschews the commonly touted position that the humanities are in a crisis. Corporate influence, he argues, has had the humanities in a defensive position since at least the late 19th century, and we are now on the ropes. Since its publication, this book has garnered praise for its brave insights and critique for its even braver refusal to provide a rose-colored conclusion. (Click here, for example, to read its New York Times review by Stanley Fish.)

Dr. Donoghue graciously agreed to sit down with Harlot for a candid discussion of the book’s arguments and their implication for those within and, more importantly, beyond academia. We hope his honesty and openness prompt the same from you—add a comment on this page if you've got some thoughts to share.

Acknowledgments: Tim and Kate would like to thank Frank for his patience and humor—and a damn good chat. A very special thanks goes to Jen Ware for her editing skills on parts 2-4.