Keynote: Tressie McMillan Cottom, “What is Critical in the Corporate University?”

08 Aug 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Hurley Convergence Center Digital Auditorium

Keynote: Tressie McMillan Cottom, “What is Critical in the Corporate University?”

During this keynote, Tressie will be thinking broadly about her work on “critical research, pedagogy and ethics given the corporatization of our tools, knowledge production and credentialing.” She will talk specifically about “nascent lessons” from her work helping to launch a digital sociology master’s degree at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Tressie McMillan Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a case study of the political economy of for-profit colleges in the era of financialized U.S. higher education.

Tressie’s current research examines how we learn for work in the new economy. That includes thinking about academic capitalism, labor market correspondence, for-profit and online credentials, and media interactions.

Tressie considers teaching a foundational research activity. She teaches introductory sociology courses and has developed seminars in contemporary stratification (post-Great Recession), critical university studies, and technology and inequality. Her students seem to enjoy her pedagogical enthusiasm. To be fair, students do occasionally complain that she threatens to incorporate interpretative dance into lectures. Tressie thinks they doth protest too much.