some of us are brave


My research studies how we learn for how we work in the new economy. That includes examining academic capitalism, labor market correspondence, alternative (for-profit) credentialing, online education, and the role of digital medias.

My dissertation asks if for-profit colleges are real colleges.  (Preferred citation = “McMillan Cottom, Tressie” but as you can see it is all over the place.)

My latest CV can be found here: McMillan Cottom 2016 CV

Selected Works:


**Gregory, Karen, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Jessie Daniels, eds. Under Contract 2016. Digital Sociologies. Bristol, UK: Policy Press at the University of Bristol.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. Forthcoming 2015. “Lower Ed: How For-Profit Colleges Deepen Inequality“. New York: The New Press.


**McMillan Cottom, Tressie. 2015. “Who Do You Think You Are”: When Marginality Meets Academic Microcelebrity”. ADA Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology vol. 7doi:10.7264/N3319T5T

**McMillan-Cottom, Tressie. “Mitigating concerns and maximizing returns: social media strategies for injury prevention non-profits.” Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 15, no. 5 (2014): 582.

Neem, Johann N., Brenda Forster, Sheila Slaughter, Richard Vedder, Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Sara Goldrick-Rab. “The Problem With For-Profits in The Education Assembly Line.” Contexts 11, no. 4 (2012): 14-21.

Cottom, Tressie McMillan. “The University and the Company Man.” Dissent 61, no. 2 (2014): 42-44.


**Cottom, Tressie McMillan and Gaye Tuchman. 2015. ‘‘The Rationalization of Higher Education in the United States’’ in Scott, Robert A. and Stephen M. Kosslyn, eds., Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. 2016. “Brown Body, White Wonderland” in Anderson, Margaret L. and Patricia Hill Collins, eds., Race, Class and Gender 9th edCengage Publishing.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. 2014. “Why Do Poor People ‘Waste’ Money on Luxury Items?” in Mick, Connie Snyder, ed., Poverty/Privilege: A Reader for Writers. Oxford Books.

McMillan-Cottom, Tressie. 2014. “For-Profits Are Us”. AFT Higher Education On Campus 33(4), pp. 7-11.

Selected Talks

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “The Global Other in US Online Education Rhetoric”. Keynote Address at University Council for Open and Distance Education, University of South Africa. October 2015.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “TBA” at Media Pre-conference at American Sociological Association; Keynote Address August 21, 2015.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “Public Scholarship for Scholars With Publics” at Scholars Strategy Network, New Orleans LA, April 2015.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “Democratizing Ideologies and Inequality Regimes in Digital Domains”. Paper presented at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society Series, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. July 29, 2014. Online <PDF>

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “Public Scholarship for Sociologists” at American Sociological Association Meeting, 2014, San Francisco CA.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. American Federation of Teachers, National Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2014: “The Precarious Profit in HigherEd”

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. North Carolina Central University (Durham, NC), Mason-Sakora Humanities Lecture, February 2014: “Close Reading the Social”

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “Lower Ed: Inequality and For-Profit College Expansion”. Duke University, Sociology Department, Race Research Group, February 2014.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. “Race, Gender, & Class: Constrained Educational Choices of Single Mothers in a ‘Work First’ Culture” at UW-Madison Sociology and Women’s Studies, December 2013.

McMillan Cottom, Tressie.“MOOCs and Inequality.” at Google’s Fairness Matters Forum, Google, San Francisco CA, November 2013/

McMillan Cottom, Tressie. ““MOOCs and Other Disruptions: Lessons from For-Profit Colleges.”San Jose State University Sociology and Ethics Center, November 2013.


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