Literary Primitivism

They will send me a desk copy!

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Ne pas oublier

…at the library, Literary Bondage and those back pages of Poets & Writers, where they list bilingual presses. There is another book that turned out to be there and that I wanted to get, and I have lost my piece of paper. C’était quoi? Something tempting and new that I was going to order from a catalogue and that they turned out to already have.

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Network of concerned academics

An antidote to the professor watch list.

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On academic freedom

This study explores the history of academic freedom in America through the focus of three interpretive models–the Gentleman Scientist Model, the Liberty Model, and the Professional Model–to show how the concept evolved over the past century. It examines violations of academic freedom, AAUP statements, and debates about the meaning of academic freedom to show how it remains a contested concept. It concludes that by studying the origins and changes in the idea of academic freedom in America, current controversies can be better understood.

That is a dissertation abstract, and the dissertation is fascinating.

During the Great War, the AAUP decided the concept of academic freedom did not apply, and condemned rather than support the many faculty dismissed for their antiwar beliefs. The Nation was appalled.

The Nation magazine criticized the AAUP report as “a serious disappointment” arguing that “By rejecting this principle, the committee, for the period of the war, hands over the keys of the castle to the enemy…” and “jeopards the very conception of a university” (“The Professors in Battle Array,” 1918). The Nation argued, “surely the university, as the home of freedom, should not go out of its way to impose on its members, in addition to these, other restrictions that are not laid on other members of the community” (“The Professors in Battle Array,” 1918).

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Quoi faire

Well, for one thing, if we are to have a state-wide organizing campaign I think it should be about tuition and its relationship to state disinvestment in higher education. Here is why.

State disinvestment is the inciting incident for this phenomenon. We can and should be critical of some of the institutional responses to that disinvestment, but this is the central problem. That disinvestment has led schools astray from their putative mission.

In the words of executive vice chancellor and provost of Cal-Berkeley, Carol Christ, “Colleges and universities are fundamentally in the business of enrolling students for tuition dollars.”If this is how institutions are required to operate, the current problems of access and affordability will only continue to get worse.

And, if I get the Kindle Paper White, here is what I will put on it:

– the Mayhew books on Lorca: but no, there is only one on the Kindle
– Artaud, Les Tarahumaras: but no, they do not have this on the Kindle

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Academic Partnerships, the company

Most people I know either ignore online teaching because of the problems and the hype, and being tired of staring into screens already. Others are so gung-ho about it that they ignore the problems. One problem, I have discovered, in a neighboring R-1 is that this firm, Academic Partnerships, that runs their platform, also gets 50% of the tuition dollars generated by the classes. And most faculty do not know about, or pay attention to this technicality and its implications.

In its work to actively shape quality online education at Eastern Michigan University, EMU-AAUP has fought against pressure from Academic Partnerships to cut costs by using more part-time instructors. Educators know well that such instructional cost cuts lead to the exploitation of faculty, to part-time, under-resourced positions, and to the erosion of academic freedom. As a result, they diminish the quality of the experience in the classroom. To defend against these cuts, EMU-AAUP proposed a letter of agreement with the administration that includes a clause prohibiting the use of “coaches or teaching assistants employed by Academic Partnerships or its strategic partners for instructional duties regularly performed by tenured or tenure-track faculty.”

This is the kind of boring, technical issue people do not want to bother with because they have more juicy things going on, but that have implications they discover later. Here’s a primer on privatization worth referring to.

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L’université, la lutte

Giroux on Facebook today:

Fascist regimes wage a war against societies with strong social bonds and in doing so turn people against all notions of the public good, compassion, the government, working people, and the mesh of democratically inspired social relations. Instead of dignity, collective rights, social provisions, and a celebration of the public imagination, we get cruelty, the breaking of social obligations, and the breakdown of the social fabric.

There is this article on the impossibility of critique but it does not talk about high tuition as something one could and should contest.

I have been trying to come up with an issue to organize around and tuition seems to me to the most obvious.

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