This year I have written increasingly about the following issues.
- The mechanisms through which higher education as a previously socialised or social good has been marketised, in order that value can be extracted from it.
- The mechanisms that inscribe the higher education sector inside the circuits of transnational finance capital, in order to enable the extraction of surplus value.
- The impact of the historic tendency of the rate of profit to fall on both the higher education sector and individual universities as competing capitals.
- The role of technology as a crack through which higher education and universities can be privatised, in particular related to the impact of finance capital and proprietary vendors like Blackboard, Pearson and Goldman Sachs.
- The relationships between the university and alternatives to them, student debt, technology and academic labour.
- The mechanisms through which technology is used to militarise higher education.
- The relationships between student debt, the idea of the student-as-consumer, and the role of technology, in disciplining academic labour.
- The techno-determinist co-option of innovation and innovations like learning analytics, BYOD, mobiles and MOOCs, so that their dehumanising impacts are forgotten.
- The impact of austerity politics, liquid fuel availability, and climate change on the politics of higher education.
Next year I plan to develop some work on academic labour and forms of activism, and the development of an ethical digital literacy.
Anyway, in writing this stuff I wondered what I had been listening to, and it seems that I have been obsessed with the following things, some of which are from 2012 and some of which are not. The combination of these things may, or may not, explain a lot.
- Giacomo Puccini: Turandot.
- Micachu and the Shapes: Never.
- Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz.
- Low: C’mon.
- Death Cab for Cutie: The Photo Album.
- SBTRKT: <untitled>.
- Orbital: Wonky.
- The Men: Open Your Heart.
- Sons of Noel and Adrian: Knots.
- Bombay Bicycle Club: A different kind of fix.
- Simian Mobile Disco: Unpatterns.
- Silverclub: Silverclub.
- Daughter: various EPs.
- Stay+: various EPs.
- Stubborn Heart: <unnamed>.
- James Blake: Enough Thunder.
- Bon Iver: Bon Iver.
- blur: 13.
- Four Tet: Pink.
- Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Architecture and Morality.
I have created a playlist of this stuff on Spotify, and there are some other collaborative (or not) playlists under my hallymk1 account.