This reading and discussion group is for students (graduate or undergraduate, enrolled or on-leave), academic personnel (adjunct, part-time, contractual, or tenured teaching staff, as well as administrators and academic non-teaching staff), and independent scholars who are interested in studies on the University and the social, political, and cultural issues that affect higher education.
This group is organized by two 'independent' scholars who firmly believe that we have a responsibility to be more critical than the very system that had nurtured and helped define us. Thus, the use of the term 'independent' does not refer to the official identification of the unaffiliated academic, the all-too-familiar 'independent researcher'; rather, it pertains to our core enduring endeavor of engaging with and disengaging from the institutions to which we are currently affiliated. Such restlessness is guided by a critical distance, informed by the refusal to be tied to universities' rigid, and sometimes even borderline unscholarly expectations—an expression of resistance, in an effort to reclaim such institutions from an ever-increasing managerial control.
We welcome, however, anyone from within or outside academia, without preference and prejudice to affiliation, occupation, highest educational attainment, discipline or field of study, number of publications and speaking engagements, among other arbitrary criteria by which a contemporary scholar is judged (if not measured). Higher education, after all, being inextricably linked with the public good, should at least concern all of us, primarily or otherwise.
The reading and discussion group will run on a bimonthly basis. Over the course of our meetings, we shall be reading and discussing preselected op-eds, columns, and excerpts of texts about the problems that plague higher education and other pertinent themes, such as its historical struggles for autonomy, its massification and privatization, the culture of speed and the phenomenon of hyperproductivity, class struggles, as well as resistance. A list of further and recommended readings coming from the contributions of the participants shall be developed over the course of the sessions. This growing bibliography will be made available to everyone.
This group is organized and facilitated by Ranier Abengana and Jessie Joshua Lino.
Participation is free and open to the public.
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