December 16, 2016

Top Reads of 2016

Over the past year, The Chronicle Review has published more than 200 essays, book reviews, and articles, written by professors, administrators, grad students, journalists, and one inmate at the Attica Correctional Facility. We’ve pondered how to win an academic argument, what to do with sleazy professors, and the role of luck, fitness, and jargon in the academic experience.

We’ve met established as well as new public intellectuals, an anthropologist who talks with ISIS, and iconoclastic economists, among other people. In an election year, we’ve also unpacked liberal bias in academe and examined the legacy of President Obama, as well as what the next four years might hold.

Here are 10 articles that strongly connected with readers in 2016. We think they’re worth another look.

—The Editors

The secret history of conservative foundations' plans to co-opt scholars and scholarship.

A credential rooted in the 17th century needs a makeover for the 21st.

Nascent terrorists seem to be drawn to engineering. Their education may further radicalize them.

Professional schools offer lessons for undergraduate education.

A young sociologist lands a big book deal, wins a MacArthur Fellowship, and seeks to avoid the controversy that engulfed Alice Goffman.

The campus climate of fear imperils academe as an incubator of provocative ideas.

The one broadly marketable skill a humanist might acquire in graduate school is the ability to teach.

Scholars must find the courage to defend the field and preserve its independence.

The Chronicle’s 50th anniversary is an occasion to take stock of the world we cover. What ideas and arguments might shape the next 50 years?  

We must redesign college education with individuality in mind.