Aug 09 2014

Another University Is Possible

Category: ConferencesBob Hanke @ 10:10 am

Another University Is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy

Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California
21-24 May, 2015

The Cultural Studies Association (CSA) invites proposals from its current and future members for participation in its thirteenth annual meeting in the Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California.

Proposals from all areas and on all topics of relevance to cultural studies are welcome, and are not limited to proposals that critically and creatively engage this year’s highlighted problematic.

This year’s theme, “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy,” plays on the World Social Forum’s motto, “Another World is Possible.” It expresses a commitment to the intellectual and political project of a radically different university. Moving beyond policy and pundit-driven discussions of the state and the future of higher education, we seek proposals that highlight socially-engaged scholarship and activism, and projects that explore the transformative possibilities embedded in the present. What forms and formations of research, pedagogy, praxis, and activism have emerged from the struggles being waged in, around, through, and in spite of institutions of higher education? What roles can culture, theory, imagination, and technology play in these struggles? Taking up cultural studies’ historical commitment to the interrogation of the relations among knowledge, power, and social transformation, the 2015 Cultural Studies Association conference seeks to provide an insurgent intellectual space for imagining, enacting, and mapping new forms of knowledge production and scholarly communication and community.

We are particularly interested in work that links the global neo-liberal conjuncture of higher education to local acts of collective resistance and action, and back again. We want to know more about how students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community partners are responding to the current social, legal, economic, financial, political, cultural, institutional, and intellectual challenges and possibilities: student debt as a means of financing higher education institutions; court cases that attack the history and practice of affirmative action; the rise in union activity on campuses; the re-entrenchment of the “humanities” as a division under “crisis”; the emergent emphasis on MOOCs and other online forms of education that extend the already dominant casualization of academic labor; the emergence of public and digital pedagogy and scholarship; the ambivalent politics of academic freedom; the reduction of education to vocational training and degrees to commodified credentials; the role of universities in reproducing or amplifying (rather than reducing) the social inequalities of contemporary capitalism; and the university as a site of capital accumulation and dispossession, among many other trends and tendencies.

To read the complete call for papers, click here.

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Dec 08 2012

The University to Come

Category: JournalsBob Hanke @ 10:01 pm

TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

Out of the Ruins, the University to Come

Number Twenty-eight — Fall 2012

Guest edited by Bob Hanke (York University) and Alison Hearn (University of Western Ontario)

Memorial: Roger I. Simon
Jody Berland, Blake Fitzpatrick, Henry Giroux, Deborah Britzman

Introduction: Out of the Ruins, the University to Come
Bob Hanke and Alison Hearn


Struggling Universities: Simon Fraser University and the Crisis of Canadian Public Education
Edna Brophy and Myka Tucker-Abramson

Academic Feminism’s Entanglements with University Corporatization
Janice Newson

University Branding Via Securitization
Julie Gregory

Beyond Academic Freedom: Canadian Neoliberal Universities in the Global Context
Sandra Jeppesen and Holly Nazar

Reconfiguring the Academic Dance: A Critique of Faculty’s Responses to Administrative Practices in Canadian Universities
Claire Polster

Knowledge Mediators and Lubricating Channels: On the Temporal Politics of Remissioning the University
Filip Vostal and Susan Robertson


Circulation and the New University
Brian Whitener and Dan Nemser

The Scholarly Affair is Self-Love
Paul Magee

The University, the Media and the Politics of Voice
Sean Phelan

The University System: Alienation or Emancipation?
Éric George

Social Science Research and the Creation of Publics
Nick Mahony

David F. Noble 1945–2010: An Appreciation
Wade Rowland


Gallery of Voices and Images from the Maple Spring
Nicolas Quiazua, Rushdia Mehreen, Rosalind Hampton, Lilian Radovac, Laurence Guénette, Matthew Brett, Natassia Williams, Kevin Paul, CLASSE, Chicoutimi, Linda McQuaig, Frédéric Faddoul, Yvan Perrier and Guy Rocher

Review Essays

The Neo-University
Ross Eaman

University Professors: Recurring Issues Revisited
Kenneth-Roy Bonin

Beyond the Knowledge Factory?
Ian Angus

From the Arab Spring to the Maple Spring: National Student Protests Graduate to Transnational Social Movements
Lena Palacios

The Academy and the Politics of Exchange: A Network for The Public Good
David N. Wright


Hard Times: The Impacts of Neoliberal Hegemony on Academic Culture
Patricia Hughes-Fuller

Topos of Faith: Derrida’s Counter-institutions
Joshua Synenko

The Need for Care and Attention in the Face of Psychopower
Margrit Talpalaru

Stalking through the Academy
Robert Pike

The University and a New Definition of Enlightenment
Maria Victoria Guglietti

The Perils of “Research Capitalism”
Michael Cottrell

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Mar 31 2012

The Birth of Critical University Studies

Category: Online PublicationBob Hanke @ 6:38 pm

Deconstructing Academe: The birth of critical university studies

by Jeffrey J. Williams
(excerpted from The Chronicle Review, February 19, 2012)

Over the past two decades in the United States, there has been a new wave of criticism of higher education. Much of it has condemned the rise of “academic capitalism” and the corporatization of the university; a substantial wing has focused on the deteriorating conditions of academic labor; and some of it has pointed out the problems of students and their escalating debt. A good deal of this new work comes from literary and cultural critics, although it also includes those from education, history, sociology, and labor studies. This wave constitutes what Heather Steffen, a graduate student in literary and cultural studies with whom I have worked at Carnegie Mellon University, and I think is an emerging field of “critical university studies.” Often criticism of the university seems a scattershot enterprise. A scholar from almost any discipline might have something to say about higher education, but it’s usually an occasional piece that’s a sideline from normal work. There is, of course, a sizable body of scholarship coming from the field of education, but it largely deals with elementary and secondary schooling. Or it follows established scholarly channels; for instance, it might gather and present data about the student body, or it could deal with administration, or fill in a segment of the history, sociology, or financing of education.

In contrast, this new wave in higher education looks beyond the confines of particular specializations and takes a resolutely critical perspective. Part of its task is scholarly, reporting on and analyzing changes besetting higher education, but it goes a step further and takes a stand against some of those changes, notably those contributing to the “unmaking of the public university,” in the words of the literary critic Christopher Newfield.

To give it a name recognizes that it has attained significant mass and signals a gathering place for those considering similar work. “Critical” indicates the new work’s oppositional stance, similar to approaches like critical legal studies, critical race studies, critical development studies, critical food studies, and so on, that focuses on the ways in which current practices serve power or wealth and contribute to injustice or inequality rather than social hope. “Studies” picks up its cross-disciplinary character, focused on a particular issue and drawing on research from any relevant area to approach the problem. “University” outlines its field of reference, which includes the discourse of “the idea of the university” as well as the actual practices and diverse institutions of contemporary higher education.

To read the rest of this article, click here.



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