Flipping the Covenant: Debt, Labor, Public Education

We are ringing in 2021 in style with a podcast featuring Eleni Schirmer, a scholar of labor, social movements, and the political economy of education.  We talk about the debt crisis in higher education as it affects not only students but institutions; the history of teacher unions; how to bring democratic practices from the street and the organizing committee to everyday classroom pedagogy.

A PhD candidate in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently a research associate with the Penn State Center for Global Workers’ Rights, Eleni has won numerous awards for her teaching and research. She’s written for Boston Review, The New Yorker, Dissent, and the Nation — the latter of which published her game-changing article on the debt crisis in universities. Eleni’s book manuscript in process concerns the long history of social justice teacher unionism in Milwaukee. 

She organizes around all of these issues, including a stint as the co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association, which is the nation’s oldest graduate employee union

Outro music by Akrasis — “And We Out” from the album Children Singing in Hell. Check out their stuff at https://akrasis.bandcamp.com/

Max Bowen (raps) and Mark McKee (beats)