Ferocious Resolve

Politics, Courage, and What it’s Like to be a Professor

By:
Autumn Cyprès, St. John’s University, New York City

Published 2014

This is a critical examination of the people who teach and produce research and scholarship in our institutions of higher education. The insights revealed through probing interviews with individual professors who have made careers in the halls of academia help readers understand the politics, power struggles and perils, both large and small, which shape the modern university. Given the important role these institutions play in our society, such an examination is not only helpful, but essential. This book is a helpful primer for faculty looking to build a career and those interested in understanding how professors are tasked in their profession.

Endorsements: "I can think of no question more commonly asked among academics, new and veteran alike, than what it means to flourish in this profession, particularly for those who speak against the grain. In this important new book, Autumn Cyprès draws on the voices of established scholars in order to bring clarity and insight to the competing implicit and explicit rules and contested political and cultural terrains that we all must navigate. Readers will find helpful advice not merely to succeed in this profession, but to change the profession itself." - Kevin Kumashiro, University of San Francisco

“Professor Cyprès’ book is a wake up call to the professoriate to rescue our profession from the clutches of those wanting to make scholars obedient servants of power. Her analysis and prescriptions provide guidelines and hope for revitalizing and energizing this once honored profession.” - From the foreword by Joel Spring, Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York

In this important new book, Autumn Tooms Cyprès provides her readers with a critical examination of the people who teach and produce research and scholarship in our institutions of higher education. The insights she reveals through her probing interviews with individual professors who have made careers in the halls of academia help us to understand the politics, power struggles and perils, both large and small, which shape the modern university. Given the important role these institutions play in our society, such an examination is not only helpful, but essential. - Pedro A. Noguera, New York University

CONTENTS
Acknowledgements. Foreword by Joel Spring. Prologue by Robert Stout. 1. What does a professor do? 2. Who are these people? 3. Seeking, seeing, and seizing opportunity. 4. Capital and the politics of Fit. 5. The rules. 6. Courage and core values. 7. Recognizing the harbinger. 8. The best advice. Afterword by James Paul Gee. References. Index. Appendix.