Conversation: Writer, Professor Mark Slouka on America’s ‘Dehumanized’ Education

BY Arts Desk  September 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM EST

Mark SloukaWhat is the value of an education and what should that education entail? As students head back to high schools and colleges across the country, an essay in the September issue of Harper’s Magazine declares that, “Education in America today is almost exclusively about the GDP,” and further, “By downsizing what is most dangerous and most essential about our education, namely the deep civic function of the arts and humanities, we’re well on the way to producing a nation of employees not citizens.” The essay’s author is Mark Slouka, a novelist, contributing editor at Harper’s and professor of English at the University of Chicago. He joined me by phone:

Photo © Miriam Berkley.