Counting Towards Tenure

Tavia Nyong'o

Who is counting on tenure? We are all counting on tenure, it seems, as the professional horizon of intellectual work, as the foundation of security upon which any edifice of independent thought might withstand the forces of erosion in our time. However, as far as the New York Times can tell, tenure primarily counts as a politically neutral reward for professionalism and an accommodation to a hierarchical ideal of expertise. Missing from this is any body count of those intellectuals whose activity inside and out of the academia, while crucial to its functioning, are not tracked for tenure.

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