Today we’ll examine myriad stakeholders’ proposals for how we might reform or reinvent the university, and we’ll consider what politics – and what understandings of higher education’s telos – are implied in their various strategies and tactics. We’ll also look ahead to more delimited and concrete realms of intervention where we could focus our efforts for the remainder of the semester.
Academic Object Analysis Presentations: Ramon, Maria + Ayo
In-Class Activity: Critical Pitch Decks: We’ll take a cue from the professional EdTech “disruptors” by adopting and detourning the “solutions” pitch deck (you might find some examples here). I’ll organize you into small, interdisciplinary teams, and you’ll develop short slide decks “pitching” the solutions you’d most want to see, to address the institutional or larger political-economic or cultural challenges most pressing for members of your group. Again, as with our syllabus audit, part of our goal is to explore the limits of the deck as a rhetorical tool, as a medium – and to appreciate how higher ed reform requires much more than a Solution™ with venture capital funding 😉
To Prepare for This Week:
There are plenty of “disruptors” and consultants with ideas about how to revamp or reinvent the university – and plenty of university administrators willing to pay for their insights:
- McKinsey, Deloitte, EAB, Huron, and other consulting firms have lots of ideas about how to revolutionize (e.g., render more efficient and profitable) higher education; The New School contracted with Huron in 2020 [20 min].
- Watch Scott Galloway’s “The College Implosion,” No Mercy, No Malice (Vice Media, May 15, 2020) [video: 6:11]; or read James D. Walsh, “The Coming Disruption,” New York Magazine (May 11, 2020).
- Read Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt, “5 Ways Higher Ed Will be Upended,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (August 25, 2021) [5 min].
- Watch Cathy Davidson, “The New Education,” UC Santa Cruz (March 1, 2018) [video: 17:10 >> 1:13:10], on the history of institutional innovation [1 hr]. Please also check out some of Davidson’s institution-building and pedagogical projects, including The Futures Initiative at CUNY, and see her The New Education (Basic Books, 2017). In the coming weeks, if there’s interest, we could address the history of technosolutionist disruptions and the rise of “ed tech”
Abolition, labor organization, and decolonization are quite unlike “disruption!” Please choose at least two of the following:
- Watch Abigail Huston Boggs and Nick Mitchell, “Abolitionist University Studies,” The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University (November 18, 2021) [video: 1:19:48].
- Mentioned within the video: Abigail Boggs, Eli Meyerhoff, Nick Mitchell, and Zach Schwartz-Weinstein, “Abolitionist University Studies: An Invitation,” Abolition (August 28, 2019).
- Read Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, “The University and the Undercommons” in The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (Minor Compositions, 2013): 22-43 [40 min].
- Read Achille Joseph Mbembe, “Decolonizing the University: New Directions,” Arts & Humanities in Higher Education 15:1 (2016): 29-45 [30 min].
- Read la paperson, “A Third University Exists within the First” and “You, A Scyborg” in A Third University is Possible (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) [1 hr]. This pre-print is published on the open-access Manifold platform; we could discuss it and other publishing platforms and politics in the coming weeks.
- Read Max Liboiron, Introduction to Pollution is Colonialism (Duke University Press, 2021) – especially 20-35 [the entire book will likely be of interest, particularly to the scientists among us!] [30 min].
- *+Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Duke University Press, 2012).
- +American Association of University Professors, “In Defense of Knowledge and Higher Education” (2020) – and Judith Butler’s response: “A Dissenting View from the Humanities on the AAUP’s Statement on Knowledge,” AAUP (Spring 2020).
- ++Davarian Baldwin’s Stanford Talk (January 26, 2022).
- Marquis Bay, Jack Halberstam, Bernard Harcourt, Heather Love, Allegra McLeod, and Kendall Thomas, “Praxis 10/13: The Undercommons,” Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, Columbia University (March 7, 2019).
- Gurminder K. Bhambra, Dalia Gebrial, and Kerem Nişancıoğlu, eds., Decolonizing the University (Pluto Press, 2017).
- +Steven Czifra, MJ Hart, Ashley Hunt, Alberto Lule, and Joshua Solis, Abolish the University (2020).
- Cathy N. Davidson, The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, 2017); Cathy Davidson, “The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux,” Teaching in Higher Ed [podcast] (September 7, 2017): 0:50 to 24:07.
- “Decolonizing the University,” University of Cape Town (April 24, 2015) [video: 2:31:33].
- Boaventura De Sousa Santos, Decolonising the University. The Challenge of Deep Cognitive Justice (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2020).
- +Jay Deshmukh and David Staley, ”The Radical New Models That Could Revolutionize Higher Education,” Times HIgher Education (2021) [video: 49:20].
- Scott Galloway, with Anastasia Crosswhite, Zakiya Smith Ellis, and Bob Shireman, “Future of Higher Ed,” ProfG Live (August 7, 2020) [video: 1:23:00].
- Jesko Fezer and Studio Experimentelles Design, (How) Do We (Want to) Work (Together) as (Socially Engaged) Designers (In Neoliberal Times)? (Sternberg Press, 2021).
- Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
- Kelly Gillespie and Leigh-Ann Naidoo, “Abolition Pedagogy: Force Fields of Critique,” Critical Times 4:2 (2021): 284-312.
- Arthur Levine, The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future (Johns Hopkins University 2021).
- ++Max Liboiron, “Oh, Shit… K, Now What? Theories of Change and Infrastructure,” Feminist Publishing and Tech Speaker Series (January 2022) [.video: 9:03 > 19:20.] + Twitter thread with slides (January 25, 2022).
- +Achille Mbembe, “Dilemmas of Decolonization,” John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University (2017) < video: 1:05:32 >.
- Brian McKenna, “Paulo Freife’s Blunt Challenge to Anthropology: Create a Pedagogy of the Oppressed for Your Times,” Critique of Anthropology 33:4 (2013): 447-75.
- Michael Meranze and Christopher Newfield, Remaking the University.
- Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, “the university: last words,” FUC (July 9, 2020) [video: 1:55:25].
- David J. Staley, Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019).
- Sandra Styres (Kanien’kehá:ka), “Literacies of Land: Decolonizing Narratives, Storying, and Literature” in Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Eve Tuck, and K. Wayne Yang, eds., Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education (Routledge, 2019): 24-37.
- Kawa Swisher and Scott Galloway, with Austin Beutner, Wayne Frederick, and Walt Mossberg, “The Psychology of Recovery,” Pivot: Schooled (September 2, 2020) [video: 1:45:56].
- +Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1:1 (2012): 1-40.
- “Whose Crisis? Whose University? Abolitionist Study in and Beyond Global Higher Education,” Duke University, October 11-12, 2019