Tag: higher education

In the last year or two, I’ve been increasingly aware of the limitations of life planning. My own tendency towards planning is something I’ve come to experience as largely pathological. It leads me to impose an artificial fixity on open situations in a way that has often led me to make really bad decisions in […]

I just stumbled across the ‘Free Speech University Rankings’ produced by Spiked Online. As one does, I immediately looked up my own institution. Warwick has been given a ‘red card’ but not, as one might expect, relating to the recent police action on peaceful protesters but rather because the student union has banned The Sun: […]

In his recent book on bureaucracy, David Graeber often turns to higher education to furnish examples of the broader tendency he describes. I thought this was a particularly vivid passage worth reproducing: The explosion of paperwork, in turn, is a direct result of the introduction of corporate management techniques, which are always justified as ways […]

An important argument by David Graeber in his new book. I’ve been thinking about this (particularly on university campuses) since events at Warwick last term and I find his analysis deeply persuasive: And indeed, in this most recent phase of total bureaucratization, we’ve seen security cameras, police scooters, issuers of temporary ID cards, and men […]

The idea that a part 2 to yesterday’s post would be less rushed seems rather naive in retrospect. Feeling rushed in the morning is different to feeling rushed in the evening but it is nonetheless feeling rushed. Much of my motivation for the Accelerated Academy project comes from a desire to understand this aspect of […]

When questioned by a friend in 1980 as to whether he was happy at Princeton, the philosopher Richard Rorty replied that he was “delighted that I lucked into a university which pays me to make up stories and tell them”. He went on to suggest that “Universities permit one to read books and report what […]

This expression by Will Davies has stuck with me since I read it a few months ago. Teaching is a disturbing example of the process Will is alluding to: ratcheting up demands on staff to the point where many are unwilling to continue. In fact increasing numbers seem unable to continue: The BBC has also […]

This powerful essay by Maria Warner in the LRB echoes what I was trying to say yesterday about the perils of passion: A university is a place where ideas are meant to be freely explored, where independence of thought and the Western ideals of democratic liberty are enshrined. Yet at the same time as we congratulate […]

Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life, 2nd-4th December 2015, Prague Call for papers: Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life There is little doubt that science and knowledge production are presently undergoing dramatic and multi-layered transformations accompanied by new imperatives reflecting broader socio-economic and technological developments. The unprecedented proliferation of audit cultures preoccupied with […]

I’m currently reading Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures by Mark Fisher. It’s an interesting book which explores a condition in which “life continues, but time has somehow stopped”. His claim is that this “stasis has been buried, interred behind a superficial frenzy of ‘newness’, of perpetual movement” and he explores it […]