This is a good question. I carry the label "public intellectual" to many. I think of the role of "professing" in the job of Professor that you cannot ignore. This explains much of what I do, but it might be enough for some. Regardless, I like this convo, if only to see the parameters of the label.
“What Happened to the Public Intellectual?” Great minds, we are told, no longer captivate the public as they once did. Newspapers and magazines are cutting their books sections. University humanities departments are shrinking. Think tanks increasingly hew to the agendas of their corporate sponsors. Across the board, the country’s super-rich have used their wealth to promote jargon-fueled “thought leaders,” who serve moneyed interests, at the expense of intellectuals. But at the same time, we have seen a new generation of intellectuals on the left emerge as editors, writers, and organizers. New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer, Founder and Co-Publisher of The New Inquiry and The New School professor Rachel Rosenfelt, Jacobin editor and publisher Bhaskar Sunkara, and n+1 editor Dayna Tortorici join New Republic literary editor Laura Marsh to discuss this new generation and how they are changing the public discourse.