Hi everyone, just a reminder that the next reading group session is happening soon! We'll gather next week on Thursday, Nov 18 from 5-6pm EST. Britt Munro will be leading a discussion on these texts:
Excerpt from Trace by geographer Lauret Savoy (Front Matter; Prologue: Thoughts on a Frozen Pond; and The View from the Sublime, p. 11-27)
In addition, consider reading this excellent piece by Coline Chevrin, which ties the questions of place more directly to the projects of education and universities: "Bringing the territory into the discussion: how to work towards a situated university?"
If you'd like to join, please register here. Hope to see you there!
While we're on the topic of place, some idle thoughts on a new "university" that I'm sure we've all been hate-reading about. Why name it the way they did, when the university has no physical place? What does that naming do? What kinds of legitimacy does it confer? I really don't want to spend any more energy thinking about it, and yet.
One thing that's getting under my skin is that the project of setting up an alternative higher ed space is not new, and yet this particular thing is getting so. much. money. But why? There are plenty of private institutions that bring ideology to education, so having a conservative educational space isn't especially unique. There are also excellent grassroots programs that create new kinds of learning spaces, like Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Blue Stoop, Paris Institute for Critical Thinking, and more, mostly run on a shoestring. Why, then, is this particular experiment getting so much press and so much money? Or do I have the causality backwards—is the money actually the starting point?
Perhaps the thing I feel most frustrated about is that they're not wrong that higher ed is broken. While I vehemently disagree with almost everything else they have said, I'm worried because they're acting from a premise that does actually make some sense. I've been saying for awhile that I would not be surprised to see higher ed change dramatically over the next 10-15 years. But I really, really hope this isn't a harbinger of where that trend will take us.
So—let's gather, in hopes that we can imagine other futures for higher education together.