“The concept of ‘mainstream academic professionalism’ is fairly straightforward. It involves a suspicion of grand theory and of epistemological quibbling, a preference for concrete and clearly manageable projects, a penchant for technical methodological refinements, and, above all, attention to aspects of the social sciences and humanities least likely to be mistaken for political advocacy, cultural criticism, or journalism.”
This is describing the late 1950s/early 1960s, but conservatism sure hasn’t changed, has it? Which is as it should be, I suppose.
(Quote from David A. Hollinger, “Academic Culture at the University of Michigan, 1938-1988,” Ch. 7 in Science, Jews, and Secular Culture: Studies in Mid-Twentieth Century American Intellectual History, pp. 121-154 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 133.)