Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts is known for the academic freedom it affords its students. It attracts driven young people who take advantage of that latitude to follow their own path, whether that leads them to genetic research or fashion blogging.
As it turns out, this open academic life also benefits the people teaching at Lang. This was on display at a recent joint book party for the ten faculty members who have released books this year, called A Tale of Many Cities: Alexandra Chasin, Brief: A Novel (Jaded Ibis Press); Kate Eichhorn, The Archival Turn in Feminism: Outrage in Order (Temple University Press); Laura Frost, The Problem with Pleasure: Modernism and Its Discontents (Columbia University Press); Elizabeth Kendall, Balanchine and the Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer (Oxford University Press); Mark Larrimore, The Book of Job: A Biography (Princeton University Press); Robin Mookerjee, Transgressive Fiction: The New Satiric Tradition (Palgrave Macmillan); Dominic Pettman, In Divisible Cities (Punctum Press); Mark Statman, A Map of the Winds (Lavender Ink); Wendy S. Walters, Troy, Michigan (Futurepoem Press); McKenzie Wark, The Spectacle of Disintegration: Situationist Passages out of the Twentieth Century (Verso).
“The pedagogic freedom for courses really helps feed in to writing,” said Pettman, the Chair of and professor in Lang’s department of Culture and Media. “They let you do all sorts of diagonal courses with idiosyncratic syllabi. And they can eventually end up as books. If I was at a course where I was teaching 101 service courses to hundreds of students, I’d have a pretty different research profile.”
Lang Dean Stephanie Browner agreed, summing up the evening in typically pithy fashion. “Lang faculty are smart, cool, and right. Just like the students!”