What do you do with a BA in English? asks a recent graduate. "What is my life going to be? Four years of college and plenty of knowledge…", and then things take a darker turn, "have earned me this useless degree!" Ordinarily I would take umbrage at the suggestion that the fate of someone pursuing literary studies is to bemoan, at the end of it all, "I can’t pay the bills yet, because I have no skills yet". I would climb on my soapbox and, to mix metaphors, put on my boxing gloves. Academics in the arts and humanities are used to specious claims, such as we have been corrupted by Marxist-vegan-social-justice-warrior-greenie-identity-politics cant, and we pass this corruption on to our snowflake millennial students. We should think and teach "more like scientists". We don’t contribute to the economy or to engineering or to healthcare. After defending our arcane vocation, we retreat to safe spaces: recline on a chaise longue, book in hand; visit art galleries, where we hold forth to ca...

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