Posts tagged universities

Posted 2 years ago

May Day International | NEW: The Academy is the Crisis


“The institutions themselves are a key part of the problem. The Left must not content itself with fighting a rearguard action merely to mitigate the successive waves of educational neoliberalisation, but must reclaim the university along the lines Chomsky proposed over 40 years ago. We have the opportunity, as the final nail is driven into the coffin of the public university, to reimagine the university, as a space for genuine critical inquiry, liberated from the stifling, deadly embrace of capital. Maybe - and here’s an idea - it could take the defunders at their word, and create new universities, which may look quite unlike the impoverished institutions envisaged by capital, and are quite unencumbered by the existing corrupt, corporate regime that they are now destroying.”

My latest piece for New Left Project.

Posted 3 years ago

Grad School

I had two very productive meetings yesterday, the first of which was with my history & theory of geography professor. We discussed, indirectly, my future as an academic. He first suggested I look into the following departments:

We also spoke about the prospect of an honors thesis, an increasingly real and enticing possibility. My professor told me that I could potentially have two supervisors, one from the philosophy department and another from the geography department. This would suit my desire to critically investigate geography’s methodology and scope from the perspective of analytic philosophy perfectly, plus give me the research experience, writing sample, and letter of recommendation I need to get into one of the aforementioned departments.

Afterwards, I met with the PhD. candidate who is teaching my geography of development course. He added to the potential list of graduate programs:

Now I have to undertake the task of further research on these departments, and finding the relevant journal articles.

Posted 3 years ago

A blow to philosophy, and minorities

Axing Middlesex’s top-rated department is a step back to when philosophy meant white men discussing formal logic over sherry

Under the banner of the financial crisis, recent months have seen management threaten departments and jobs in post-92 and Russell group universities alike. Although no clear national pattern of cuts has emerged, philosophy has been singled out by several institutions.Threats to philosophy at Liverpool and King’s College London were greeted with international outcry and management retreat. Recent news that philosophy recruitment at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at Middlesex University will be terminated is a particularly terrible blow, both to the standing of philosophy in the UK and to the future of critical thought in our universities as a whole.

The decision to cut philosophy at Middlesex appears not to be motivated by any of the “obvious” reasons: economic rationale, falling student numbers or poor research standing. Middlesex philosophy has one of the largest MA programmes in the country, has experienced increasing postgraduate recruitment, and was the highest-scoring department in the university in the recent research assessment exercise. It is ranked 13th out of 41 institutions teaching philosophy in the UK, ahead of Sussex, Warwick, York, Durham and Glasgow.

The current nature of the crisis fosters cutbacks in the “impractical” domains of knowledge, and philosophy is a perennial favorite target of cultural conservatives.