Tag Archives: steve fuller

Steve Fuller – Lincoln to re-connect the university with its roots

Mike Neary, Professor of Teaching and Learning at Lincoln University, has just announced the formation of the Social Science Centre, which promises to be a self-organizing cooperatively owned corporation (with teachers and students as peers) devoted to higher education — very much in the spirit of the original medieval universities. It is refreshing to see this ‘back to basics’ approach at a time when universities have lost their sense of identity by playing in too many fields at once.

It is worth pointing out that the general economic model of cooperative ownership for universities has received some sympathetic media coverage in recent weeks, including here and here.

 

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Steve Fuller – What are we defending when we defend public universities?

Steve Fuller – Time to Revisit the Port Huron Statement?

At the final discussion session of this week’s ‘Discourses of Dissent’ workshop in Birmingham, I raised the need for academics and students concerned about the future of the university to consolidate a positive position — something beyond simply protesting budget cuts and tuition fees. A model for such an activity is the famous Port Huron Statement of 1962, which established Students for a Democratic Society in the US. Inspired by C. Wright Mills, for the following decade the Statement provided the intellectual springboard for co-ordinating university resistance to the military-industrial complex that had colonized American campuses during the Cold War. Even the original rhetoric is worth emulating today. Here is the statement.

You may also find the Google-generated reception history of the Statement of interest.

Perhaps we need a second ‘constitutional convention’ meeting at Birmingham and Midland Institute to draft an updated version of this statement? Given the eloquence and forthrightness of the original Statement, it might be worth paying attention to how it was composed: My general sense is that, like the US Declaration of Independence, the main draft was by one hand (Tom Hayden playing Tom Jefferson) with various editorial inputs.

Steve Fuller – the Future of the University

In this podcast Steve Fuller talks about the future of the university. At a time of crisis in the university, the discussion explores how academia has arrived at its present juncture and where it might go from here. It contextualises the present predicament in terms of the wider intellectual, cultural, political and economic factors which underlay these seismic shifts in academic life.

Public Symposium, 16th February, Birmingham

Public Symposium, Warwick Social Theory Centre
16th February 2011, 1:30pm-6:30pm, Drinks afterwards
Birmingham Midland Institute

Discourses of Dissent is a symposium, open to all, which explores the relationship between social theory and political resistance. In light of the coalition government’s austerity agenda and the emerging movement against it, the event asks how academic research (with a particular focus on social theory) can help inform and sustain political resistance.

In doing so it will confront a variety of pressing questions standing at the interface between theory and politics. How do theoretical justifications of austerity work to constrain public debate? How does the current government’s incongruous blend of neoliberal realism and superficial progressivism relate to what went before it? What resources can we find in social theory to critique the coalition’s agenda and it’s relationship to the wider crisis of late capitalism? How can academic research in general (and social theory in particular) aid the cultivation and propagation of positive discourses which would allow us to break out of the ever narrowing political and cultural horizons which have defined the public life of the UK over the last three decades?

Confirmed speakers are Steve Fuller, Dan HindJohn Holmwood, Ruth Levitas, Sasha Roseneil and Karen Rowlingson. More speakers are to be confirmed in the near future. The event is being organized by the Social Theory Centre at the University of Warwick and the BSA Theory Study Group. It takes place on the 16th February at the Birmingham & Midland Institute in central Birmingham.

For more details please contact Mark Carrigan. To register online please click here.