22 SES 14 A, The University in the Age of Critique (Part 2)
Symposium continued from 22 SES 13 A
This symposium will take the current condition of the university as a starting point for a conceptual exploration of what the university is and what it should stand for, in order to address again the public role of the university. The various contributors will draw on case studies – historical, ethnographic, etc. – from within and beyond European borders in order to address again the public role of the university and its close relation to critique. “How can we conceive of the university in a democratic way in order to open it up for education’s others?” is the question that brings the contributors together in this symposium. Drawing on perspectives from philosophy of education, histories of university education, ethnographies of higher education, political philosophy, science and technology studies, critical theory, pedagogy, sociomaterial approaches, etc. we aim to foster a multi-faceted, multidisciplinary discussion on education in the university.
The first part of the double symposium will consist of four presentations. Drawing on the works of Agamben and Benjamin, Lavinia Marin will elaborate a conception of the university which emerges after multiple criticisms of this institution. She wants to challenge the prevailing institutional definition of the university and propose instead an understanding of the university as a form of life which she will illustrate with different historical examples from European universities. In the second presentation Sean Sturm will present his idea of the university as a play-space and explain how through collective deliberation and deformance the rules of the university game could become more democratic and fair. With a case study from New Zealand, he will add an extra international dimension to our discussion. The third presentation by Jan Masschelein and Maarten Simons will discuss the public role of the university. After positioning ourselves within both the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area, they will question this position from the perspective of the medieval university, universitas studii, in order to come to an understanding of the university as a pedagogic form for study, a collective experiment. In the last presentation of this first part Eli Meyerhoff will give us an insight in the counter-movements organized by students and academics at American universities. He will oppose the crisis narratives of education and propose an alternative narrative from the perspective of what he calls “education’s Others”. This presentation will be via skype.
The second symposium will consist of three presentations: In the first presentation Hans Schildermans will discuss several European case-studies of lecturing practices from a sociomaterial perspective. Using notions like experiment, objectivity and critique he will reconceptualize the relation between the university and its publics. Thereafter, Winston Thompson will address the question of justice in settings of higher education. Using Feinbergs concept of the “Right to an (educationally) open future” he will inquire in what ways the university can serve as a model of educational justice, especially in its response to marginalized groups. In the last presentation Krystian Szadkowski will elaborate what critical higher education could stand for today. Via the notion of the common he will question regimes of domination, hierarchy, expropriation and exploitation. He will map imminent forms of social relations, that are perceptible today in their germ-like appearances, and that could create a basis for the university of the future. We will conclude the second part of this double symposium with a more general reflection and common discussion on the topics that were brought to the table during this event.
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