The provocative documentary Starving the Beast examines the deep ideological debates raging around the country over the funding of state universities and colleges. The divide is marked by those who want to apply a market approach to higher ed, with costs borne by the consumer (i.e. students and their families), and those who view education as an investment that serves the broader public good. Cases unfolding at six universities including the University of Wisconsin, Virginia, and Texas serve as vivid illustrations of this battle of opposing philosophies. (95 mins., DCP)
Cosponsored by the Wexner Center for the Arts.
This screening follows a public lecture by Christopher Newfield: "The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities, and How We Can Fix Them"
The results of the private funding experiment are in: it has hurt public universities rather than helped them. This talk will lay out the issue, argue that 2016 has brought a sea-change in our hopes for and understand of public universities, and outline how we can make them more accessible, affordable, exciting, and socially valuable than ever before.
Christopher Newfield is Professor of literature and American studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much of his research is in Critical University Studies, which links his enduring concern with humanities teaching to the study of how higher education continues to be re-shaped by industry and other economic forces. His most recent books on this subject are Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (link is external) (2008), and Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (link is external) (2003). A new book on the post-2008 struggles of public universities to rebuild their social missions, called The Great Mistake, will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in Fall 2016. He blogs on higher education policy at Remaking the University (link is external), and writes for the Huffington Post (link is external), Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education (link is external). He teaches courses in Detective Fiction, Noir California, Contemporary U.S. Literature, Innovation Theory, and English Majoring After College.
Public Humanities lecture series