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The Rise and Risk of Neoliberal Education in Europe
Academia is standing at a junction in time. Behind lies the community of the curious, ahead the mass and the market. This book joins in a growing stream of works that explore the vicissitudes of present-day European universities in what Bauman coined as liquid times. Here, a number of concerned (engaged) European scholars attempt to defend and brush up academic core values and practices, starting from their own life worlds and positions in higher education. They share the view that there is no point in turning back, nor in mechanically marching straight on. Above all, they uphold that there is no alternative to treasuring academia as a space for thinking together. Hopefully the fruit of this sine qua non invites to think with, and envision academic activism. Contributors are Samuel Abraham, Stefano Bianchini, Simon Charlesworth, Leonidas Donskis, Frans Kamsteeg, Joost van Loon, Ida Sabelis, Tamara Shefer and Harry Wels.
Author: Harry Wels

Abstract

The chapter entails a reflexive, autoethnographic approach to think through some of the perceived developments in global academia, especially in terms of time and workload in the light of demands of academia, past and present. The author takes empirical data and substantiations from his own teaching experiences in the Netherlands and frames a cautious hope for a future of academia on the metaphor of the slow-food movement which was started in Italy in the mid-1980s.

In: Academia in Crisis
Author: Frans Kamsteeg

Abstract

Academics world-wide experience the daily consequences of the sell-out that neo-liberal universities euphemistically frame as a combination of effectiveness, efficiency and excellence. In this contribution I use fiction, and in particular John Williams’ recently rediscovered novel Stoner, to illustrate how painfully tangible these effects become in daily academic practice. The Stoner book shows the imbroglio of an aspiring American literature professor, whose career is presented as a symbol of the increasing academic depreciation of knowledge and Bildung. I argue that the literary quality of Stoner and other ‘academic novels’ can better than any sociological study convey the detrimental consequences of the unhappy marriage of ignorance, measurability and accountability that reigns today’s universities. Sparked by an auto-ethnographic account of academic quality measurement I plea for maintaining what is still left of ‘academic passion’, hoping to prevent academia and its inhabitants from suffering the same tragic fate as many a protagonist in academic novels.

In: Academia in Crisis

Abstract

Animal studies scholars are increasingly engaging with nonhuman animals firsthand to better understand their lifeworlds and interests. The current 3R framework is inadequate to guide respectful, non-invasive research relations that aim to encounter animals as meaningful participants and safeguard their well-being. This article responds to this gap by advancing ethical principles for research with animals guided by respect, justice, and reflexivity. It centers around three core principles: non-maleficence (including duties around vulnerability and confidentiality); beneficence (including duties around reciprocity and representation); and voluntary participation (involving mediated informed consent and ongoing embodied assent). We discuss three areas (inducements, privacy, and refusing research) that merit further consideration. The principles we advance serve as a starting point for further discussions as researchers across disciplines strive to conduct multispecies research that is guided by respect for otherness, geared to ensuring animals’ flourishing, and committed to a nonviolent ethic.

In: Society & Animals
In: The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition
In: The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition