Academic freedom is the condition under which the intellectual submits herself to the normative model of the settler. –Fred Moten, “Statement in Support of a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions” Whenever I hear academics defending “academic freedom” as a supposed … Continue reading “What’s Academic Freedom Got to Do with Us? Nothing, Absolutely Nothing”
1. On the day I won a university award named after Rosa Parks, I learned that a student was weighing an invitation from Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss an article he wrote that condemned my course on American political thought. … Continue reading “Cultivating the Weeds”
Occupy University (OccU) grew out of the Education and Empowerment working group of the Occupy Wall Street movement in fall 2011. Initially named Nomadic University, OccU was formed with the goal of creating a university for everyone, at which education … Continue reading “Occupy University”
Thought follows action. A new precarious generation of cognitive workers knows this all too well, for their struggles trace the crumbling edifice of both the university and the global economy that increasingly depends on knowledge, affects, and information for its operations. If we begin with these struggles, we can dare to know much more about how our present circumstances are shaped by the knowledge economy.
Two thirds of American College graduates graduate in debt. Traditionally, student debt, like a home mortgage, was thought of as “good” debt, a wise investment in the future.Figures from Glenn Beck to Oprah Winfrey have claimed this, and it … Continue reading “The Banking Model of Education”
By now we should all recognize the global economic effects of neoliberalism. David Harvey reminds us that free market policies have led, first and foremost, to a dramatic class realignment in which the relative egalitarianism of the post-World War … Continue reading “The Neoliberal Crisis and the Open University”
The Berlusconi government seems to be on its last legs here in Italy, but somehow the old Mephistopheles seems to keep controlling the show — apparently bribery as well as arm-twisting has been involved. Meanwhile, in Torino, where I’m teaching … Continue reading “Letter from Italy”
As many will already know, following the UK Con-dem government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, universities in the UK are facing massive cuts to their core funding. Coupled with this, parliament will be voting next week on a bill that will enable … Continue reading “UK Higher Education cuts and Student Occupations”
Who is counting on tenure? We are all counting on tenure, it seems, as the professional horizon of intellectual work, as the foundation of security upon which any edifice of independent thought might withstand the forces of erosion in our time. However, as far as the New York Times can tell, tenure primarily counts as a politically neutral reward for professionalism and an accommodation to a hierarchical ideal of expertise. Missing from this is any body count of those intellectuals whose activity inside and out of the academia, while crucial to its functioning, are not tracked for tenure.
Reviewed: Menand, Louis. The Marketplace of Ideas. New York: W.W. Norton & Co Ltd, 2010. Louis Menand’s The Marketplace of Ideas offers suggestions for revamping liberal education at a time when the liberal arts seem increasingly irrelevant to incoming freshmen. 1 Andrew Scull’s notorious hatchet job … Continue reading “Liberal Arts: Lurching towards Obsolescence?”
Audio Statement from students protesting tuition hikes at UCLA. And more footage from recent protests.