Category Archives: Subconference

“I’m allowed to feel disappointed”

This is worth thinking about. Something I have procrastinated about is leaving academia. In a way, I feel I was pushed out when I started my first job, which had nothing to do with the kind of job, or life I was interested in. So my career change already happened to me, and when I think of career changes it is to begin doing something that more closely resembles the kind of work I was interested in and thought I could find in academia. I have been reticent about asking certain questions, but something I did discuss with friends and family was leaving. They were all horrified and convinced me not to, and I stayed because I was told I owed it to them, they would suffer too terribly if I left (that is another reason I feel trapped and do not work well). This, actually, shows why I do not ask enough questions–I am not accustomed to receiving non-destructive answers.

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The Precariat & The Professor

Talking with Jill yesterday about disappointment and the post-ac hustle, I was reminded of Kate Ragon’s chapter for The Precariat & The Professor, “Pleasure & Paradoxes of Organizing in the Corporate University.” We come to academia for a variety of reasons, but so many of us arrived here because we are idealists, we are dreamers– we believed the university was the contemporary City on a Hill, the last remaining one, in fact. Swallowing the bitter pill of the university’s reality is only the beginning of disappointment, which compounds, whether you get on the tenure track, work contingently, or leave for other, better things: Kate Ragon, like Erik Strobl, writes of the frustration of attempting to organize academics who think union labor is somehow below them. Jill, on the other hand, writes of being disappointed that she’s disappointed in herself for willfully walking away from a university who exploited her knowledge…

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“Where you stand is where you sit”

Here is a book about how to be an academic administrator and it looks quite good.

It is from 2006 but glancing at it I thought it would be older, as it seems to come from an era so much kinder and gentler and humane. The university was already savage, of course, but it really seems to me that things took a hard turn for the worse with the 2008 economic crisis. Others may perceive the shift differently, or may not have perceived it yet.

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Carlos Alonso on curriculum

Here are some of his 2013 thoughts. Watch the video and tell me what you think. What is the value of the humanities education, the Ph.D., and the life of the mind generally?

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Filed under Bibliography, Questions, Subconference, Teaching, Theories, What Is A Scholar?, Working

James Kyrilo, Alvin Burstein

These colleagues have pieces recently published and forthcoming on curriculum and academic freedom, a key perception being that faculty rights and tenure are not the only or perhaps even the main point of attack on education. The place where student and faculty rights are both being eroded is curriculum — which is of course one more reason why I should be preparing my piece for a curriculum journal. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, it is said, but the converse is perhaps yet truer.

I have a version of the piece forthcoming — I believe — in a professional, but not refereed venue, and it has been suggested to me that an even shorter version can go to the CHE or Truthout. The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy has been suggested to me. I, meanwhile, am fascinated with another journal, New Political Science.

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David Schultz

According to this, the corporate university is already in decline. What of the entrepreneurial university, however: is it the same thing as the corporate university? I am inclined to think not.

I do wish I had seen this panel at the MLA:

MLA Panel 803. Finance Capital and the University

Sunday, 10 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Lone Star C, JW Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TC Marxism, Literature, and Society

Presiding: Christopher John Newfield, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

1. “Securitization and University of Finance,” Amanda Armstrong-Price, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

2. “Financialization and ‘The Wisconsin Idea’ in the Twenty-First Century,” Richard Grusin, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

3. “Tech Transfer and Finance after Academic Capitalism,” Lenora Hanson, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

4. “The Force of Diversity: Risk, Privatization, and the Salaita Affair,” Nick Mitchell, Univ. of California, Riverside

Keywords:

Academic Labor, Finance Capital, Debt, Critical University Studies, Activism, World-Historical Crises that only critical humanists can solve, according to Eileen A. Joy, Aranye Fradenburg, Julie Carlson, Alan Thomas, Cathy Davidson, David Palumbo-Liu, Ken Wissoker, Glenn Hendler, Bruce Burgett, and others.

I did see this presentation and I recommend everyone read it in its entirety.

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