Some things about the acceleration of higher education which I would like to understand more than I do

  1. Increasingly I think about this issue in terms of a distinction between the rate of publication and the rate of knowledge production. My hunch is that the acceleration of the former goes hand-in-hand with a deceleration of the latter. I have all sorts of speculative ideas about the causality if I’m correct but I’d like to actually try and substantiate the hunch itself. How do you measure the rate of publication (not as straight forward as I assumed it would be before I started thinking about it) and how do you measure the rate of knowledge production? The latter is very challenging and necessitates a lot of conceptual labour before beginning to look for possible indicators which could be used empirically.
  2. Can we empirically demonstrate an acceleration in the pace-of-life within the academy? What are the dynamics which are ‘internal’ to this institutional sphere? How do they relate to a broader tendency towards acceleration within the social order? One of the things that appeals to me about this topic is the possibility of using higher education as a case study to get a much firmer grip on technologically driven acceleration.
  3. If there is an acceleration of the pace-of-life within the academy then how are people responding to? What implicit and explicit strategies emerge in an attempt to cope with the ‘ratcheting up’ of demands?
  4. Whose interests are at stake in the promotion or suppression of different strategies? E.g. productivity and resilience as technologies of control within the work place.
  5. How do these strategies contribute to or resist the overarching processes of acceleration which they are in part a response to?
  6. What does all this mean for scholarship?

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About Mark