Cover for ADAMS: The Academic Tribes

The Academic Tribes

A satirical look at the idiosyncrasies of academia

In The Academic Tribes an English professor who has survived stints as a dean and a vice-chancellor “takes a gentle, satiric sideswipe at academia, its foibles, follies, and myths” (ALA Booklist). This parody of anthropological analysis allows Hazard Adams to describe the principles and antinomies of academic politics, campus stereotypes, the various tribes divided by discipline, the agonies accompanying each stage on the way to full professorship, and, of course, the power struggle between faculties and academic administrators. For this first paperback edition Adams has written a new preface, in which he looks back at the decade since the book was originally published, and has included an appendix of three relevant essays that appeared since the original publication.

"The book is a delicious chowder of quips and ironies. One may have heard individual lines at faculty cocktail parties, but listening to all the disparate voices of the university together, one realizes how much we sound like a thousand Franz Kafkas trying to sing a madrigal."--Chronicle of Higher Education

"An enjoyable description (and vivisection!) of the various people in Academe. . . . Essential for anyone who extracts his livelihood from the forests primeval of Academe and who periodically suffers fits on the meaning of it all."--Choice


Hazard Adams is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Washington. His many publications include Blake and Yeats: The Contrary Vision, The Interests of Criticism, and Critical Theory since Plato, as well as two novels, The Truth about Dragons: An Anti-romance and The Horses of Instruction.

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