Is Academe A Cult?

Published at The Chronicle Review on October 5, 2015.

Training for the doctorate changes your goals because “part of you drinks the Kool-Aid while earning a Ph.D.” Yes, yet another reference to the poison that members of the Peoples Temple drank to commit suicide at Jonestown. I flinch any time I hear someone use the distasteful, cynical phrase. Drezner insists that adjuncts persist at low-paying jobs in academe because they “have been trained to believe this is the only thing they should do with a doctorate.” Graduate school warps our sense of success, so we remain there against our best interests. Why else would we stay? (Never mind that many of us don’t.)