This week’s episode of “Backchannel” features Mark Brennan, PhD, Ivory Tower Iconoclast columnist and Books Editor of Chronicles magazine. A professor at New York University, Mark speaks on the topic of “What It’s Like To Be A Professor” in an age of social and intellectual chaos.
Mark is truly an iconoclast. After 20 years working on Wall Street, he went back to school and earned his PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania. Since then, he has taught at Syracuse, Cornell, UPenn, NYU, and even the University of Havana. Traditionally, the subjects he has taught include ethics and moral philosophy, foreign policy, economic history, writing, and Cuban history. He speaks five languages, played Division I football, and is learning Latin during the pandemic.
His discussion “What It’s Like To Be A Professor” will be of interest to Americans of all ages. For those who have long since departed college or never attended, he will provide you a unique perspective on campus culture and administration as well as keen insights on the younger generations. If you’re still in college or recently departed, Dr. Brennan will provide you with observations about your generation, the changes he’s seen since 2011, your prospects in life, and the growing divide between “those who shower before work and those who shower after work.”
If you want to take a really deep dive into contemporary America and its college culture, Mark recommends the following three books, which he discusses during this episode:
▪ “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman
▪ “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life” by William Deresiewicz
▪ “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt