Sunday, 19 April 2015 - 10:12pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 19/04/2015 - 10:12pm in

This week (and last), I have been mostly too busy to log—or even do—much extra-curricular reading. Here are some exceptions:

  • Why is so much of the discussion of higher ed driven by elite institutions? - Corey Robin at CT: "[…] the way that elite institutions dominate our media discussions really skews how the public, particularly that portion of the public that is not in college right now, sees higher education. There is a war being fought on college campuses, but it’s not about trigger warnings or safe spaces; it’s about whether most students will be able to get any kind of liberal arts education at all—forget Shakespeare v. Morrison; I’m talking essays versus multiple choice tests, philosophy versus accounting—from mostly precarious professors who are themselves struggling to make ends meet."
  • Lecture by David Graeber: Resistance In A Time Of Total Bureaucratization / Maagdenhuis Amsterdam (video): "Twenty or thirty years ago, when you said 'the university', people meant the faculty, the staff. Now when you say 'the university' you mean the administrition. We are no longer a community of scholars, we're a business. […] Creating knowledge, learning things, studying things, understanding the world, is no longer the point of a university."
  • Joe Biden’s Israel stunner: American Jews should let Israel protect them - Corey Robin, Salon: What the…? I don't even… A country's vice president warns its Jewish population to keep a bag packed, just in case. Then receives "applause, and then photos, and then kosher canapés".
  • Academia’s 1 Percent - Sarah Kendzior, Vitae: "The fate of aspiring professors is sealed not with job applications but with graduate-school applications. Institutional affiliation has come to function like inherited wealth."
  • Letter from Amsterdam: Humanities, Rally! - George Blaustein at n+1: "David Graeber noted in passing that the demands of humanities students are, in a sense, actually quite conservative. It is the students who speak up for pure knowledge, for the value of study for its own sake, for the cultural or human heritage, for some of the things teachers aren’t always good at voicing anymore."
  • Edutopia - Megan Erikson at Jacobin: "The great irony is that the very Silicon Valley reformers promoting and funding techno-utopian models for American schoolchildren refuse to submit their own children to anything like it, choosing innovative pedagogical models instead of newer touch screens."