<editorial board> <agu> The Double Crisis of the University and the Global Economy

Augusto Illuminati augusto.illuminati at fastwebnet.it
Wed Dec 24 17:59:10 CET 2008

>thanks for this
>i have just one  minor concern of a linguistic nature  -
>does the continual use of the word crisis risk losing any sense for the
>word crisis
>there of course other words - cycle, process, phase...
>  2008 10:56 pm, info at edu-factory.org wrote:
>>  The following are some brief notes to initiate discussion on
>>  the proposed theme for a zero issue of the edu-factory journal. After some
>>  off-list discussion, it has been suggested that the journal should be
>>  titled Edu-Notes: Conflicts and Transformations of the University.
>>  We would like to thank Augusto Illuminati and Nirmal Puwar
>>  for their insightful contributions. The first point below is an attempt to
>>  address the important comment made by Augusto regarding the term financial
>>  crisis. We would also like to open discussion regarding Nirmal’s concern
>>  about the possible narrowness of the proposed theme. By putting forward the
>>  following points for discussion we hope that other members of the
>>  editorial board can intervene regarding the appropriateness of the
>>  suggested theme for the zero issue.
>>  Ned Rossiter has also made a key intervention regarding the
>>  tricky question of peer review and quality control. Hopefully Ned’s
>>  provocation can attract some serious discussion of this matter on the
>>  list. We do not expect this is a question we will resolve quickly but it
>>  is a crucial one to confront.
>>  In this message, however, we restrict ourselves to the
>>  question of the zero issue, since the preparation of a call for papers,
>>  which should be briefer than what is outlined below, is perhaps the most
>>  urgent issue to confront.
>>  As starting point, the zero issue would investigate the
>>  characteristics of the global crisis. In mainstream analysis, the current
>>  economic situation is described as financial crisis. This idea is based on
>>  the classical division between finance and real economy, which we want to
>>  question. From this point of view, it is better to talk of a global
>>  economic crisis.
>>  We would base this analysis of the crisis on the
>>  investigation of material changes. What are the nature and the roots of the
>>  crisis? How is the crisis likely to affect the production of knowledge and
>>  the organization of such production around innovation?
>>  What does it mean to refer to the crisis as a global crisis?
>>  What are the different forms of translation of the crisis in
>>  various transnational contexts? How are academic employment, higher
>>  education export, higher degree research recruitment or other aspects
>>  affected?
>>  The focal point of the issue should be the nexus between the
>>  global economic crisis and the crisis of the university. By the latter, we
>>  refer to the end of the modern concept of the university and the permanent
>>  crisis of its transition into the new framework.
>>  With regard to the university, this double crisis highlights
>>  the difficulty of conducting an analysis in the classical terms of the
>>  dialectic between public and private. The corporatization of the
>>  university is not its privatization, but indicates that its new form –
>>  that is, the form of the crisis – must be thought beyond the state/private
>>  sector distinction.
>>  For instance, some articles could focus on the student debt
>>  system as one of the roots of the contemporary crisis. Such an
>>  investigation might approach the operations of the student debt system as
>>  paradigmatic for a sort of financialization of the welfare system.
>>  It could be interesting to analyze the relationship between
>>  universities and collateralised debt obligations. Institutional investors
>>  such as pension funds, insurance houses and university endowment funds
>>  were among the most important purchasers of these and other securitized
>>  financial products. But they were also among the first to become wary of
>  > such investments and thus their financial decisions contributed to the
>>  onset of the crisis.
>>  Another question concerns the role of ranking systems in the
>>  determination and evolution of the double crisis. The continued high
>>  ranking of securitized debt products by bond rating houses like Moodys and
>>  Standard and Poors contributed
>>  to the onset of the economic crisis. The global ranking of universities by
>>  institutions such as Shanghai Jiao Tong and Times Higher has become an
>>  obsession in higher education. What are the relations and complicities
>>  between such ranking systems?
>>  In this framework, there emerge two important questions. On
>>  one hand, it is necessary to ask how the global economic crisis redefines
>>  the crisis of the university. On the other hand, there is a need to
>>  inquire into the place and role of conflicts in the nexus of this double
>>  crisis.
>>  Finally, it would be interesting to discuss the temporality
>>  of the crisis in relation to the temporality of the production of
>>  knowledge. Does the traditional cycle outline, which poses
>>  financialization as a final stage that follows an expansion of material
>>  production, still apply? Or do we have to investigate a new temporality of
>>  the crisis? What does this mean for the temporality of conflicts, which
>>  have been understood to follow a cycle of struggles?
>>  _______________________________________________
>>  agu mailing list agu at listcultures.org
>>  http://listcultures.org/mailman/listinfo/agu_listcultures.org
>Dr Nirmal Puwar
>Department of Sociology
>Goldsmiths, London University.
>Co-organiser of Methods Lab
>agu mailing list
>agu at listcultures.org

Really, edu-notes is a little boring; may I suggest: 
Edu-factory-tools or Edu-factory, a tool-box?
Augusto Illuminati
Augusto Illuminati
v. Appennini 53, 00198 Roma
cell. 335-5621228       tel. 06-8415494

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