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John Schneider


My project examines post-1945 U.S. literary history as one crucial site for understanding the culture of professional expertise—the codes, norms, and beliefs that shape intellectual labor around higher education. Following some of the ways that specialization has remade the figure of the “intellectual” in the era of knowledge work, I look to a series of writer-critics whose prose confronts the challenges of laboring within an economy driven by information. In examining the critical response to these challenges, I hope to historicize some of the broader roots of the literary humanities’ crisis discourse, an ongoing response to literary studies’ precarious place in the contemporary university.