Book Talk | Seeing the World

, 5:00pm –
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute | 20 Cooper Square 7th floor | New York New York 10003

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge and the Social Science Research Council invite you to a discussion of Seeing the World: How US Universities Make Knowledge in a Global Era, with authors Mitchell L. Stevens, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, and Seteney Shami. The event will be moderated by Ann Morning with critical remarks from George Steinmetz. U.S. research universities have long endeavored to be cosmopolitan places, yet the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology have remained stubbornly parochial. Despite decades of government and philanthropic investment in international scholarship, the most prestigious academic departments still favor research and expertise on the United States. Why? Seeing the World answers this question by examining university research centers that focus on the Middle East and related regional area studies. Drawing on candid interviews with scores of top scholars and university leaders to understand how international inquiry is perceived and valued inside the academy, Seeing the World explains how intense competition for tenure-line appointments encourages faculty to pursue “American” projects that are most likely to garner professional advancement. At the same time, constrained by tight budgets at home, university leaders eagerly court patrons and clients worldwide but have a hard time getting departmental faculty to join the program. Together these dynamics shape how scholarship about the rest of the world evolves. At once a work-and-occupations study of scholarly disciplines, an essay on the formal organization of knowledge, and an inquiry into the fate of area studies, Seeing the World is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of knowledge in a global era.