The Chair and the collapse of the humanities

In the opening sequence of the Netflix comedy series The Chair, Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh), the first woman of color to head the English department at a struggling liberal arts college called Pembroke University, makes her way across campus amid shots of ivy-carpeted walls and idyllic quads to the exultant strains of Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major: “Gloria . . . Gloria . . . in excelsis Deo.” Glory to God in the highest.