With Rosi Smith in Education and James Evans in Strategic Planning at DMU, I am planning to kick-start a Critical University Studies Reading Group at DMU.
The first meeting will be 12.30-13.30 on Wednesday 25th March, in Hugh Aston 1.47.
The draft parameters for the group are appended below, and these are up-for-grabs.
- The higher education sector and its institutions, is being restructured and repurposed, both in terms of policy and practice. Restructuring has affected the idea of the University, in terms of corporate forms, cultures and practices.
- The imposition or evolution of changes to the forms, cultures and practices of the University has implications for those who work and study in it, including on their professional identity, workload, and mental and physical health.
- The purpose of this reading group is to generate discussion of the scholarship relating to higher education, the University and the work of students, academics and professional services staff. This will critique scholarship and analysis across intersections, geographies and histories, in order to understand life inside the contemporary university.
- The reading group provides a forum for understanding the consequences of university reforms, and in this it emphasises the perspectives, communities and individuals who have been othered or silenced in the debate.
- The reading group will meet twice a term, and will negotiate its curriculum. This curriculum might include: the idea of the University; well-being and ill-being inside the University; work in the contemporary university; the impact on student learning; leadership, management and metrics; the governance, regulation and funding of higher education; intersectional, critical feminist and critical race readings of the University.
- Meetings will be predicated upon a short reading, video, podcast that will be shared in advance. The key will be discussion rather than lecture, although sessions may be briefly introduced by individuals, in order to facilitate dialogue.
- The reading group will proceed in a spirit of openness and dialogue within and between various conceptions of higher education.
- The essential feature of the series is that critique can provide inspirational resources for renewing educational practices and producing new knowledge that can support action.
For our first meeting, the initial reading is this review of The Toxic University: Zombie Leadership, Academic Rock Stars and Neoliberal Ideology by John Smyth: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2018/01/19/book-review-the-toxic-university-zombie-leadership-academic-rock-stars-and-neoliberal-ideology-by-john-smyth/