Tag Archives: the university

The University of the Spectacle


by James Compton The whole life of those universities in which modern conditions of managerialism prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. All scholarship that was once directly lived has become mere representation. I am reminded of this … Continue reading

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Prune University Administrators


By Scott Timcke A person would have to be oblivious to walk around my university campus (Simon Fraser) and not hear the many public gripes from emerging scholars, senior graduate students and junior professors alike. The themes are the same. … Continue reading

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Living and Learning in a World of ‘White Noise’: Technology, Youth, and the University

By Jennifer Fisher When Don DeLillo published White Noise in 1985, he wrote about a society whose proof of terminal decline could be found not in the range of man-made, technologically induced disasters it manufactured but, more critically, in how … Continue reading

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I Am What I Hate

by Trent M Kays What if we discover that our present way of life is irreconcilable with our vocation to become fully human?—Paulo Freire I had a dream recently. I awoke in my dream, and I walked into my living … Continue reading

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Following the Herd, or Joining the Merry MOOCscapades of Higher-Ed Bloggers

By Melonie Fullick For those who follow the higher education news, the week of July 16th to 22nd will stand out as one in which the term “MOOC” (Massive Open Online Courses, for the uninitiated) hit a high point as … Continue reading

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From Penn State to JPMorgan Chase and Barclays: Destroying Higher Education, Savaging Children and Extinguishing Democracy

In this article, Henry A. Giroux poses the question: What can we learn about the nature of our society from the Penn State child abuse scandal? By analyzing the scandal in a broader context, Giroux suggests that the use of … Continue reading

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Struggle & Solidarity in Toronto

Zach Ruiter of the Toronto Media Co-op has created this video exploring the tensions perceived in Ontario student organizations as some struggle to create a solidarity movement with the Quebec strike. The structure of the student organizations themselves are called into question, the need for a solidarity strike is debated, and the difficulties in coordinating the various smaller movements are explored. These tensions are ones that must be addressed if a solidarity movement is to take place in Ontario. Continue reading

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@Home in the Public Sphere: An Interview with Melonie Fullick, Graduate Student and Public Intellectual – Part 1

“I think the university may (paradoxically) sustain itself better by making its institutional boundaries more porous. That would involve academics extending their voices (their expertise and wisdom) to different spheres of communication,” says Melonie Fullick, a PhD candidate in Education at York University. Melonie, who is a public intellectual with a growing readership, sat down over coffee in Hamilton, Ontario to share her views on higher education and what brought her to engage multiple “publics” through Twitter and academic blogging. Though Melonie is careful to demystify social media and the term “public intellectual,” she represents a striking example of academic courage in what appears to be an increasingly austere and instrumentalized landscape of higher education. Continue reading

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Faculty Union Referendum Challenges University Support for Chambers of Commerce

Martha McCluskey provides an overview of the rationale behind the University of Buffalo’s faculty union campaign to pressure the university administration to cut its ties with state and local chambers of commerce, which actively endorse political candidates and have appointed a number of university administrators to their boards. This U of B campaign began when the faculty union approved a referendum calling on the university to “immediately break its membership and financial support” with the chambers. Professor McCluskey’s eloquent defense of faculty activism (click on “Continue reading” below) has important implications for all institutions of higher education: it demands administrators be fully transparent about the alliances made with private sector and external political organizations, and it demonstrates how faculty are engaging in coordinated action to assert their voices in institutional governance. The example of U of B also invites us to think about the many different ways in which university staff and faculty can “take back” their institutions, while exposing questionable university partnerships with private, political interests that compromise the “accountability, transparency and independence” of public universities and misuse public resources. Continue reading

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