Newfield, Christopher



Ph.D., Cornell University, 1988
M.A., Cornell University, 1984
B.A., Reed College, 1980

Christopher Newfield is professor of literature and American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His main current areas of research are innovation theory and Critical University Studies, a field that he helped to found. Chris’ books include Mapping Multiculturalism (edited with Avery Gordon), The Emerson Effect: Individualism and Submission in America (Chicago, 1996), Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke, 2003), and Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard, 2008). His writing also covers American political psychology, race relations, science studies, the future of solar energy, and humanities-based approaches to economics. He teaches courses on Detective Fiction, California Noir, Innovation Studies, Critical Theory, the Future of Higher Education, and English Majoring After College, among others. He blogs on higher education funding and policy at Remaking the University, the Huffington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Educationand is completing a book called Lowered Education: What to Do About Our Downsized Future.



South Hall 2517

Office Hours: 

Winter 2016: Tues at 3:00-5:00pm


Mailing Address: 

English Department
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3170


Literature and the Mind
American Literature
Literary Theory
Theories of Gender and Sexualities

Research Interests: 

Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century American literature
Literary and social theory
Gender, sexuality, and race


Articles & Chapters: 

Articles and Public Analysis (On Line)

Remaking the University blog: founder and co-editor, 400+ posts (2007-) on higher education policy and practice

Huffington Post blogger (mutiple posts on higher education policy, innovation policy)

Nanoscience and Nanosociety blog: founder, 100+ posts on nanotech and science

Innovation Group: Center For Nanotechnology in Society website. Innovation analysis.

Articles (Print)

“Does Solar Energy Need a New Innovation Model? The Case of Germany,” in Little by Little: Expansions of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies, ed. Kornelia Konrad and Colin Milburn (forthcoming 2013).

“Learning From Solyndra: Changing Paradigms in the US Innovation System,” in Nanotechnology and Development: What’s In It for Emerging Countries? Ed. Shyama V. Ramani (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2013).

 “La dette étudiante, une bombe à retardement,Le Monde Diplomatique, Sep-2012

“Bulle de dette étudiante américaine,” Le Monde Diplomatique (forthcoming, September 2012)

“Obama’s Second Half,” in The Imaginary and its Worlds: American Literature after the Transnational Turn, ed. Laura Bieger, Ramon Saldivar, and Johannes Voelz (forthcoming 2012).

“How Unequal State Support Diminishes Degree Attainment,” Chronicle of Higher Education (April 15, 2012).

“Is Nanoscale Collaboration Meeting Nanotechnology’s Social Challenge? A Call to Nano-Normalcy,” The Social Life of Nanotechnology ed. Barbara Herr Harthorn and John Mohr (New York: Routledge, 2012)

“Reflections on the Significance of the Public University: An Interview with Christopher Newfield,” Public Intellectuals Project, MacMaster University (November 2011).

“Devolving Public Universities: Lessons from the American Funding Model,” Radical Philosophy (September 2011)

The View from 2020: How Universities Came Back,”  Journal of Academic Freedom 2 (2011).

“Further Unmaking the Public University,” Introduction to paperback edition of Unmaking the Public University (Harvard University Press website (March, 2011).

The Struggle for Public Education in California: Introduction,” South Atlantic Quarterly 110:2 (2011).

Review of Steven Shapin, The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), Technology and Culture 51 (October 2010): 1058-1060.

“The End of the American Funding Model: What Comes Next?” American Literature (September 2010).

“American Political Romanticism and the Psychological Impacts of Obama’s Presidency” South Atlantic Quarterly (Autumn 2010).

“Obama'nın İlk Yılı” (Obama’s First Year) , Birkikim (Istanbul, Turkey), May 17, 2010).

“The Structure and Silence of the Cognotariat”, Globalisation, Societies and Education 8: 2 (Fall 2010).

“Avoiding the Coming Higher Education Wars,” Academe (May 2010).

“La fin du modèle de financement américain : comment le remplacer?” L’economie et societé (2010).

“Science Out of the Shadows: Public Nanotechnology and Social Welfare,” “States of Welfare” Issue, Occasion 2 (December 2010).

“Can the Cognotariat Speak?” e-Flux (March 2010) (with Isabelle Bruno).

“Structure and Silence of the Cognotariat,” Eurozine (February 2010).

“Structure and Silence of the Cognotariat,” Edu-Factory (Jan 2010).

“College Presidents’ Salaries,” Chronicle of Higher Education (February 3, 2010).

“The Federal Stimulus Should Support Research at Public Universities,” Chronicle of Higher Education (January 3, 2010) (with Gerald Barnett).

“Ending the Budget Wars: Funding the Humanities during a Crisis in Higher Education,” Profession 2009 (Modern Languages Association).

“Structure et Silence du Cognitariat,” Multitudes 39 (December 2009).

“A Teachable Crisis” (the California Budget Crisis), Chronicle of Higher Education (September  29, 2009), A30.

 “Is the Corporation a Social Partner?  The Case of Nanotechnology,” in Cultural Critique and the Global Corporation,ed. Purnima Bose and Laura E. Lyons (Indiana University Press, 2010).

“Avoiding Network Failure: the Case of the National Nanotechnology Initiative,”  in Fred Block and Matt Keller, State of Innovation: The U.S. Government’s Role in Technology Development (New York: Paradigm Press, 2010).

“Why Public is Losing to Private in American Research,” Polygraph 21 (October 2009).

“Ending the California Dream,” San Francisco Chronicle (July 14, 2009) (with Stanton Glantz)

“L’Université et la revanche des ‘élites’ aux États-Unis,” La Revue internationale des livres & des idées (Mai-Juin 2009): 28.

“Can Amercian Studies Do Economics?” review essay, American Quarterly (December 2008).

“Public Universities at Risk: 7 Damaging Myths,” Chronicle of Higher Education 31 October 2008: A128.

Review of Len Gougeon, Emerson and Eros: The Making of a Cultural Hero, Emerson Society Papers (forthcoming 2008).

“Cold Wars and Culture Wars,” in Blackwell Companion to American Literature, ed. Paul Lauter (Blackwell, 2010).

“A Statue Made of Smoke: The Board of Trustees in the New American University” (with Greg Grandin), in Monika Krause, et al., ed.,  The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the University Workplace (New York: NYU Press, 2008).

“The Corporation,” Keywords in American Studies, ed. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler (New York: New York University Press, 2007).

Review of The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900, “Nanoscience and Nanosociety” (Center for Nanotechnology in Society),

 “Passé et passif de l’enseignement supérieur américain,” Le Monde Diplomatique (September 2007)

“Where’s My Flying Car?” NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society (May 4, 2006).

“Nano-Punk for Tomorrow’s People,” review of “Tomorrow’s People: the Challenges of Technologies for Life Extension and Enhancement,”  conference at the James Martin Institute, Said Business School, University of Oxford, March 2006,.

“The Culture of Force,” South Atlantic Quarterly (Winter 2006): 241-263.

“75 Years of American Literature,” American Literature 77.2 (June 2005).

“The Future of the Old Economy: New Deal Motives in New Economy Investors,” Histories of the Future, ed. Susan Harding and Daniel Rosenberg (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, Spring 2005).

Review of David Mowery, et al. Ivory Tower and Industrial Innovation, in Enterprise and Society: The International Journal of Business History 6:2 (June 2005): 348-50.

“Jurassic U: The State of University-Industry Relations,” Social Text 22:2 (Summer 2004): 51-80.

“La France, Version Américaine,” Liberation, Paris, France, January 9, 2004.

“Diversity in the Age of Pseudointegration,” Theories of American Literature, ed. Thomas Claviez and Winfried Fluck (Tubingen, Germany: REAL - Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 19, 2003), 83-112.

“The Value of Non-Science,” Critical Inquiry 29.3 (Spring 2003).

 “Democratic Passions: Reconstructing Individual Agency,” in Materializing Democracy: Towards a Revitalized Cultural Politics,  ed. Russ Castronovo and Dana D. Nelson (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002).

"Few of our seeds ever came up at all": A Dialogue on Hawthorne, Delany, and the Work of Affect in Visionary Utopias,” with Melissa Solomon, in No More Separate Spheres, ed. Cathy N. Davidson and Jessamyn Hatcher (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002).

Review of Christopher Lane, The Burdens of Intimacy: Psychoanalysis and Victorian Intimacy, Victorian Studies 44.2 (Winter 2002): 326-28.

Review of John A. Douglass, The California Idea and American Higher Education: 1850 to the 1960 Master Plan, American Literature 74.1 (March 2002): 196-98.

 “Middlebrow Reading and the Power of Feeling,” review of Janice A. Radway, A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-Class Desire, American Quarterly 51.4 (December 1999): 908-918.

“Corporate Culture Wars,” Corporate Futures: The Diffusion of the Culturally Sensitive Corporate Form, ed. George Marcus (University of Chicago Press, 1998): 23-62.

“The Professor-Manager and the Artist-Bureaucrat,” Chicago Humanities Journal 1:1 (1998).  Reprinted in Minnesota Review (2000).

“Whiteness and Meritocracy: An Interview,” Disclosure 7 (1998): 85-99.

“Criticism and Cultural Knowledge,” Poetics Today  19:3 (Fall 1998): 423-438.

 “Recapturing Academic Business,” Social Text 51(Summer 1997): 39-66.

“Corporation H,” Bodies INCorporated, CD-Rom catalogue essay for installation on art and corporate culture, San Francisco Art Institute, 1997.

"Idealism," Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism (Greenwood Press, 1996).

"Not-Me," Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism (Greenwood Press, 1996).

"Guillaume Oegger," Biographical Dictionary of Transcendentalism (Greenwood Press, 1996).

Sampson Reed," Biographical Dictionary of Transcendentalism (Greenwood Press, 1996).

"Introduction," Mapping Multiculturalism (University of Minnesota Press, 1996) (with Avery Gordon)

"Multiculturalism's Unfinished Business," Mapping Multiculturalism (University of Minnesota Press, 1996).

"Corporate Pleasures for a Corporate Planet," Social Text 44 (Fall 1995).

"Going Public," After Political Correctness: The Humanities and Society in the 1990s, ed. Newfield and Strickland (Westview Press, 1995) (with Ron Strickland).

"White Philosophy" (with Avery Gordon), Critical Inquiry 20 (Summer 1994): 737-757. Reprinted 1) Identities, ed. K Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).  2) Cultural and Literary Critiques of the Concepts of “Race,” ed. E. Nathaniel Gates (New York: Garland Publishing, 1997): 149-69.

"Democracy and Male Homoeroticism," Yale Journal of Criticism 6:2 (Fall 1993): 29-62.

"What Was `Political Correctness'?:  Race, the Right, and Managerial Democracy in the Humanities" Critical Inquiry 19 (Winter, 1993): 308-36.  Revised and reprinted in PC Wars: Politics and Theory in the Academy, ed. Jeffrey Williams (New York: Routledge, 1994): 109-145.

Review of Stanley Cavell, Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome, Prose Studies 15 (August 1993): 244-47.

"Controlling the Voice: Emerson's Early Theory of Language," ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 38:1 (Fall 1992): 1-29.

"Ignore the Pressure: Academic Freedom and Cultural Dissent," Mediations 16.2 (May 1992): 33-36.

"A Teacher for Democratizing Liberalism: A Response to Teachers for a Democratic Culture,” Mediations 16.1 (Fall 1991): 13-15.

"Emerson's Corporate Individualism," American Literary History 3:4 (Winter  1991): 657-84.

"Loving Bondage: Emerson's Ideal Relationships," American Transcendentalist Quarterly 5:3 New Series (September 1991): 183-93.

"The Politics of Male Suffering: Masochism and Hegemony in The American Renaissance," differences 1.3 (Winter 1989): 55-87.

Review of David Van Leer, Emerson's Epistemology, Nineteenth Century Literature 42 (March 1988): 512-15.

Other Publications: 

Books and Collections

The Fast Way Down: Our Urge to Wreck our Public Colleges, and How to Stop It (in preparation, due 2012)

Can Rich Countries Still Innovate? Cultural and Technical Papers on a New Innovation Model ed. With Daryl Boudreaux (in preparation, due 2012).

“The Humanities and the Crisis of the Public University,” co-editor (with Colleen Lye and James Vernon) of special issue of Representations (2011)

Against the Day: The Struggle for Public Education in California,” co-editor (with Colleen Lye), ” South Atlantic Quarterly 110:2 (2011).

Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class, (Harvard University Press, 2008). Gold Winner, 2008 Book of the Year Award, ForeWord Magazine.   Paperback edition, Spring 2011.

Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980  (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003).

The Emerson Effect: Individualism and Submission in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).

Mapping Multiculturalism, ed. with Avery Gordon (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996).

After Political Correctness: The Humanities and Society in the 1990s, ed. with Ron Strickland (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995).

Commissioned Reports and White Papers

The Cuts Report, UC University Committee on Planning and Budget, May 2008.

Current Budget Trends and The Future of the University of California, May 2006 (with Henning Bohn, Economics, UC Santa Barbara, and Calvin Moore, Mathematics, UC Berkeley), on line at

White Paper on University-Industry Relations, UC Santa Barbara, May 2002.

Faculty Diversity in the University of California: 30 Year Trends, UCSB Divisional Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity, June, 2001

Cultural Dynamics and Financial Prospects in a Water-Treatment Start-Up Company (consultancy report, November 2000).

Handbook of Affirmative Action, UCSB Media Group, October 1995 


Projects (Initiatives, Grants, etc.): 

Current Research Grants:

UC Humanities Research Institute Multi-Campus Working Group Grant, ““The Next California: How Will E-Learning Affect Minority-Majority California”? (2011-2013)

NSEC Center for Nanotechnology in Society, 5 years (Co-Principal Investigator, National Center for Engineering Sciences (NCES) National Science Foundation Award No. 0531184, July 2005-2010; Renewed  July 2010-2015.

Center for Creativity and Innovation (UCSB internal start-up funds).



Public Service and Writing Presentations: 

“The Reynoso Report on UC Davis’ Pepperspray Incident” KCSB April 14, 2012

 “Why Public Services Aren’t Just Safety Nets,” KCSB February 8, 2012

“Milken, Romney, and LBO Government,” KCSB January 11, 2012

“Wall Street’s Own 99%” KCSB October 12, 2011

“State of California Audits UC: Racial Stratification by Campus,” KCSB August 11, 2011

“Outcomes of the UC Regents Meeting,” KCSB July 13 , 2011

“Where is Financial Reform? A View from Europe,” KCSB February 23, 2011

“Unshared Governance,” UCSB Faculty Association Newsletter, Fall 2010.

“Diversity and the UC Funding Crisis,” Brian’s Morning Show KPFA, September 20, 2010

"La crise universitaire aux Etats-Unis et en France," Radio Pluriel Lyon, September 19, 2010

“Student Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Card Debt, “To the Point,” KCRW, September 3, 2010

“Le système de réciprocité entre les Universités lyonnaises et de l’Université de Californie,” Radio Pluriel Lyon, April 11, 2010.

“Europe’s Economies: The Crisis Continues?” KCSB April 7, 2010

“The Governor’s Budget and California Education,” KCSB, January 27, 2010

“UC Regents Decide on Fee Increases Amid Protests,” Which Way LA?, KCRW November 18, 2009

“The Budget Cuts: How are they Affecting Undergraduate Education?” KDVS, September 14, 2009

“The Bernanke Continuum and US Financial Policy, KCSB, September 2, 2009

“the Worse Higher Education Budget Cuts in Modern US History,” KCSB, July 15, 2009

“The US and Europe: Policy Divergence on the Crisis?” KCSB March 25, 2009

“Obamanomics and the US Policy Response,” KCSB, January 21, 2009

“The Meaning of the Meltdown,” KCSB October 15, 2008

“The Financial Crisis II: The View from Europe, KCSB July 16, 2008

“The Financial Crisis I,” KCSB July 2, 2008

“Cuts and More Cuts,” article for the Faculty Association Newsletter, UCSB, Spring 2008.

“The State of the California Economy,” KCSB, April 2, 2008

“The UC Budget and the Swarzenegger Cuts,” KCSB February 6, 2008

“Financial Meltdowns and Public Funding,” KCSB, September 12, 2007

“The State of the Budgets: California and Its Universities,” KCSB, May 30, 2007

“Economic Prospects for 2007,”KCSB January 3, 2007.

“Budget Politics in California: An Update,” KCSB June 1, 2005

“Budget Politics in California,” KCSB January 19, 2005

“The Cultural Divide in Presidential Politics,” UCTV November 15, 2004

“Presidential Economics,” KCSB September 24, 2004

“Ivy and Industry: Interview,” KVOM, Napa Valley, CA, June 3, 2004.

“Ivy and Industry: Interview,” All-American Talk Radio, San Francisco, May 11, 2004

“Ivy and Industry: Interview,” KPCC Los Angeles, February 20, 2004

“Investor Sorrows,” No Alibis KCSB July 16, 2003

“Bush Economics,” No Alibis KCSB May 28, 2003

“The Murdoch Empire,” No Alibis KCSB April 16, 2003.

“The Hoover Economy II,” No Alibis KCSB February 26, 2003.

“The Hoover Economy,” No Alibis KCSB January 14, 2003

“The History of Surveillance on Campus: Kerr and the FBI,” No Alibis KCSB May 2002.

“Blowing Up Small Countries,” No Alibis KCSB March 27, 2002.

“The Enron Collapse,” No Alibis KCSB December 2001.

“The SAT Controversy at the University of California,” No Alibis KCSB 21 November 2001.

“The Return of the Cold War Economy,” No Alibis, KCSB 3 October 2001.

“Europe’s Long Hot Summer 2001,” No Alibis, KCSB 5 September 2001.

“Men at Work,” Santa Barbara Independent 7-13 June 2001.



Recent Courses Taught