Today we’ll explore some of the macro-scale challenges facing our universities today: the ubiquity of managerialism and technocracy, the expansion of the administrative class and the casualized workforce, inequity, student debt, etc. There are myriad other issues we could address, so we’ll also map additional concerns and interests that could constitute the basis for your own coursework.
Academic Object Analysis Presentations: Cori + Gabby
In-Class Activity: Challenge Mapping: We’ll break into small groups to identify the issues that most concern you, then we’ll “cluster map” those disparate issues to identify some overarching themes, which will help Shannon direct our discussion, plan your assignments, and organize our work for the latter half of the semester.
To Prepare for Today:
- Let’s start by considering The New School’s own persistent iniquities: Read Julia Foulkes, “Reckoning with The New School’s Legacies,” Public Seminar (February 8, 2021) [10 min].
- Now, read Abigail Boggs and Nick Mitchell” on “Critical University Studies and the Crisis Consensus,” Feminist Studies 44:2 (2018): 432-64 [1 hr]. Boggs and Mitchell synthesize the following texts:
- Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira, eds., The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent (University of Minnesota Press, 2014).
- Jennifer Doyle, Campus Sex, Campus Security (MIT Press, 2015).
- *Tressie McMillan Cottom, Lower Ed; The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (New Press, 2018).
- Craig Steven Wilder, Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (Bloomsbury, 2013) [you’ll recall that we learned about Wilder’s work last week].
- Roderick A. Ferguson, The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (University of Minnesota Press, 2012).
- Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, “The University and the Undercommons” and “Debt and Study” in The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (Minor Compositions, 2013) [we’ll speak more about this work next week].
- I’m hoping that Boggs’ and Mitchell’s discussion will pique your interest in the aforementioned books – and that you’ll thus be inclined to watch / listen to at least one of the following:
- Roderick Ferguson and Nick Mitchell, with Sophia Azeb, “#MoreThanDiversity: Critical University Studies,” Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture, University of Chicago (April 23, 2021) [video: 1:02:57].
- Jennifer Doyle and Nick Mitchell, with Lauren Berlant and Zachary Samalin, “Critical University Studies: Academic Labor in Crisis Times,” Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (May 20, 2021) [video: 1:43:09].
- *“Tressie McMillan Common on the Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy,” Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (June 27, 2017) [video: 1:14:00].
And how might we productively channel our frustration and critique?
- Complaint: Listen to Shraddha Chatterjee, with *Sara Ahmed, “Complaint!” New Books Network (October 7, 2021) [podcast: 50:28].
- Protest: Katherine Franke, “Columbia University Has Lost Its Way,” The Nation (January 19, 2022) [5 min].
- Optional: Roderick A. Ferguson, Introduction to We Demand: The University and Student Protests (University of California Press, 2017): 1-13.
- Para-Institution-Building: Read Zaina Alsous with Eli Meyerhoff, “A Detrimental Education,” The New Inquiry (April 16, 2020) [20 min]; Meyerhoff foreshadows many themes we’ll be addressing in the upcoming weeks.
- *+Sara Ahmed, Complaint! (Duke University Press, 2021).
- Wendy Brown, “Neoliberalized Knowledge,” History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History 1:1 (Summer 2011).
- Herb Childress, The Adjunct Underclass: How America’s Colleges Betrayed Their Faculty, Their Students, and Their Mission (University of Chicago Press, 2019).
- Critical University Studies bibliographies: Creator Unknown, “University”; “Critical University Studies Resources,” Northwestern University.
- *Brett De Bary, ed., Universities in Translation: The Mental Labor of Globalization (Hong Kong University Press, 2009).
- Peter Fleming, Dark Academia: How Universities Die (Pluto Press, 2021).
- Briahna Joy Gray and Astra Taylor, “Is NOW the Time for a Student Debt Strike?” Bad Faith [video: 37:58].
- Dan Greene’s Twitter thread about his own related graduate seminar (September 21, 2021).
- Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez, and Angela P. Harris, eds., Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (University Press of Colorado, 2012).
- +Robin D. G. Kelley, “Black Study, Black Struggle,” Boston Review (March 1, 2016).
- la paperson, “Land. And the University is Settler Colonial” in A Third University is Possible (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).
- +Fredy Perlman, “I Accuse This Liberal University of Terror and Violence” [pamphlet] (Black & Red, 1969) [see the cover here, as well as Daniel Marcus’s “Information War!” Artforum (April 2020)].
- Amara Miller, “Reflections on Surviving Graduate School,” The Sociological Yogi (December 4, 2019).
- +Rebecca Nathanson, “The 20-Year Fight to Unionize Graduate Student Workers,” The New Republic (December 14, 2021).
- Andrew Ross, “David Graeber Was Right: A Debt Free World Is Possible,” Novara Media (August 30, 2021).
- Ethan Schrum, “The Prophet of Academic Doom,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 19, 2021).
- *Chris Shore, “Beyond the Multiversity: Neoliberalism and the Rise of the Schizophrenic University,” Social Anthropology 18:1 (2010): 15-29.
- +Dean O. Smith, How University Budgets Work (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
- “Teaching Critical University Studies,” Radical Teacher, Vol. 108 (2017).
- *Gaye Tuchman, Wannabe U: Inside the Corporate University (University of Chicago Press, 2009).
- Bianca C. Williams, Dian D. Squire, and Frank A. Tuitt, eds., Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellion: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education (SUNY Press, 2021).
- Caitlin Zaloom, Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost (Princeton University Press, 2019).
- Jeffrey J. Williams, “Deconstructive Academe,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (February 19, 2012).