Academia in Crisis

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.
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Leonidas Donskis (1962-2016), PhD, was a well-educated scholar, creative artist, politician, professor of Politics and important academic leader, and dean at Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania. Together with the other editors he initiated the project to write a reflected book on academic life, which became Academia in Crisis.
Ida Sabelis, PhD, is Associate Professor of Organization Studies (Organizational Culture, In/equality and Diversity) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, VU Amsterdam. She has published widely in the field of time studies, alternating with gender diversity, human rights and ecofeminism (sustainability).
Frans Kamsteeg, PhD, is Associate Professor at the department of Organization Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU Amsterdam. His main interests include diversity in higher education, and the emergence of managerial cultures at universities.
Harry Wels, PhD, is Associate Professor at the department of Organization Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU Amsterdam. His main interests include the social sciences of human and non-human agents related to sustainability and social justice.
 Notes on Contributors
 Introductory Thoughts
Tamara Shefer
1 Toward an Educational Dystopia? Liquid Evil, TINA, and Post-academic University
Leonidas Donskis
2 Academic Homecoming. Stories from the Field
Frans Kamsteeg
3 Universities as Laboratories. Internationalisation and the Liquidity of National Learning
Stefano Bianchini
4 Liberal Arts to the Rescue of the Bachelor’s Degree in Europe
Samuel Abrahám
5 Academia in the Fast Lane vs. Organisational Ethnography and the Logic of Slow Food
Harry Wels
6 Timescapes in Academic Life: Cubicles of Time Control
Ida Sabelis
7 A Nomad of Academia: a Thematic Autobiography of Privilege
Joost van Loon
8 The Truth is Out There: ‘Educated fo’ bollocks. Uni’s Just Institutional Daylight Robbery’: Universities in Crisis? What’s New?
Simon J. Charlesworth
Ida Sabelis
All interested in contemporary developments in higher education, be it from a didactic, and international (European), or a human rights’ perspective.
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