Online seminar: the Alienated Academic and the Hopeless University

On Wednesday October 5th, 2022, at 15-18.00 (EEST) and 13-16.00 (BST), I’ll be facilitating an online session on:

“The Alienated academic and the Hopeless University with Professor Richard Hall”

The Zoom link for the event is at: https://tuni.zoom.us/j/66510029426?pwd=MzVRQW1aaitYS1RXdjZqemkwUmo5QT09

The session is being hosted by the research group of Assembling Postcapitalist International Political Economies (POSTCAPE), at the University of Tampere, Finland. For more details about the event, see the POSTCAPE site. The group’s background to the event is given below.

I am very grateful to Mikko Poutanen, who is a PhD researcher in Political Science at Tampere, for this invitation ands his support, and for his ongoing work on academic and intellectual alienation.

Background

The research group of Assembling Postcapitalist International Political Economies (POSTCAPE) welcomes you to join us in an online seminar with professor of education and technology Richard Hall from De Montfort University Leicester (UK). Professor Hall has written extensively on the changes of UK higher education from a distinctly critical point of view, noting that academics are becoming alienated. Academic work as a “labor of love” is increasingly commodified, not only challenging but arguably damaging the conditions of intellectual work.

Writing in the context of the United Kingdom, Professor Hall’s work argues that the neoliberalization of universities has already progressed to the point that the university has become “hopeless”. Yet, within this hopelessness, there is also radical potential for new imaginaries for future intellectual work and mass intellectuality. Only when academics are ready to acknowledge the university is hopeless, can we begin salvage work of the university which is not and cannot be looking back for solutions.

The new imaginary for a university and intellectual work in general has to address questions of economic, gendered, racialized and environmental problems that the current university, mired in late-stage capitalism, is able to identify but to do very little to solve.

In this combined lecture and seminar, Professor Hall will first outline his diagnosis of the alienated academic and the hopeless university, and potential ways forward and then open for questions and comments in a seminar discussion. There will be a break between the lecture and the seminar.

Relevant works

Hall, Richard & Kate Bowles. 2016. “Re-engineering Higher Education: The Subsumption of Academic Labour and the Exploitation of Anxiety.” Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor 28: 30-47.

Hall, Richard. 2018a. “On the alienation of academic labour and the possibilities for mass intellectuality.” tripleC 16(1): 97-113.

Hall, Richard. 2018b. The Alienated academic – The struggle for autonomy inside the university. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hall, Richard. 2019. ”On authoritarian neoliberalism and poetic epistemology.” Social epistemology 33(4): 298-308.

Hall, Richard. 2021. The Hopeless University: Intellectual work at the end of The End of History. Leicester: Mayfly Books.


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