Places and spaces in and outside of the university

In this extended piece, Giorgi Tavadze lets us explore the ongoing project “Places and spaces in and outside of the university”. “Our goal is to enrich the ongoing adventure called “life.” Ontological education should remain an open-ended project. I hold a strong belief that the university should function as a platform where students and lecturers collaborate to create meaningful spaces and, in the process, rediscover each other beyond the confines of the lecture room.”

Collegial Purgatories in an Accelerating Academia?

— by Hampus Östh Gustafsson

The quickening in academic tempo has been considered by scholars coming from various fields, including Anthropology and Philosophy as well as Psychology and Sociology. One perspective that is often missing in this context, however, is the historical. So, what happens if we inquire into conflicting academic times throughout a longer period? Speaking from the vantage point of the historian, I see good reasons to doubt whether all this talk of a rushed academic existence really is characteristic of late modern societies only. Has there ever been a slow academia, or is that only a projection of nostalgic narratives leaning perilously close to clichés of the so-called ivory tower? Were older universities – although small scale and elitist – really of a completely different kind?

How to re-civilize the university?

— by Jakob Egholm Feldt

As a problem for the philosophy and theory of the university: how can we think approaches to the current crisis of legitimacy, the fact that the university is no longer “civil”? The explorations, the work, towards a possible re-establishing of the university’s civility must, I believe, go through the realization that the future university is a project. Re-establishing the civility of the university means joining together. It is a process of making even small publics, of commoning, with others who care and long. Such minor key theorizing carries forward towards the project, the hopeful encounters when our communities are realized. It happens on the road.

In praise of the index – a conversation

— by Ronald Barnett and Dagrun Engen

A while ago, Dagrun received a short text from Ron that was meant for the En Passant column in the PaTHES Newsletter. Ron wrote in praise of the index – as a writer and as a reader. The thoughts and narratives that Ron articulated in his text resonated with Dagrun’s thoughts and experiences on approaching academic literature as meaningful materialisations of thinking. They decided to write something on this together.

Loneliness and collegiality: a chronicle of academic alienation

— by Julia Molinari

First quarter of 2021. Year #2 of COVID19. Working at home. Small market town, The Midlands, UK.

Like many, I have not set foot on campus for over a year, but I have been emergency remote teaching, home schooling, and researching despite mixed messages about whether business as usual is possible, let alone desirable. Indeed, whether ‘business as usual’ is ever an appropriate moniker to describe academia remains moot. The connotations of ‘business’ with profit, commodity and performativity are all too close for comfort.

Julia Molinari has chosen the chronicle as the genre through which to reflect in times of COVID 19

What’s the use of use?

— by Jakob Egholm Feldt
Being useful is great. It is fundamentally satisfying. When students express that my teaching has been useful for them, I’m both grateful and happy. I’m predisposed to commit myself uncritically to the university of our time: whatever we as university people can do to help, solve problems, make up problems, invent things, evaluate, suggest, calculate or think this or that, I’m all in. Nevertheless, I’m increasingly uneasy about this surge of being useful and solving problems in the real world.

Towards an imperative of togetherness and co-creation

— By Patric Wallin
I have hope that most students and teachers are actually at the university, because they want to learn and become part of a disciplinary community. From this starting point and building on Freire’s idea that ´teaching must begin with solving the teacher/student contradiction, by reconciling the opposite poles, so that both parts are both teachers and students at the same time´, I think we can move towards an imperative of togetherness and co-creation in higher education. An imperative that emphasizes the collective instead of individuals, trust instead of accountability and shared responsibility instead of control and surveillance.

Reflecting on the methodological dualism in higher education research

— By Tessa DeLaquil
It seems that a somewhat curious dualism exists in the methodological approach to research in our social-scientific field of higher education. On the one hand, we are empiricists, strictly following the rule of objectivism and the analytic scientific method, eschewing all but the observable and the factual. On the other, we engage wholeheartedly with value and subjectivism, partaking in hermeneutic methodology to interpret the influence of the social institution of higher education on the human person and on various sectors of society.