English higher education, like other parts of the public sector and higher education in other countries, is currently undergoing considerable change as it is being restructured as if it were a market in which universities, departments and academics compete against one another. This restructuring is producing new processes of subjectivity that discipline those who work and study in higher education institutions. Feminist poststructuralists have suggested that this restructuring is enabled partly through new forms of accountability that seemingly offer the 'carrot' of self-realisation alongside the 'stick' of greater management surveillance of the burgeoning number of tasks that academics, amongst others, must perform. This paper, located in the context of these changes, builds on Judith Butler's insight that processes of subjection to the dominant order through which the self is produced entail both mastery and subjection. That is, submission requires mastery of the underlying assumptions of the dominant order, In this paper I adopt an auto/biographical method and a critique of abstract social theories to explore how the neoliberal restructuring of universities interacts with the gender order. Many universities are being remoulded as businesses for other businesses, with profound effects on internal relations, the subjectivities of academics and students, and practices of education and scholarship. Yet I doubt if we can understand this, nor resist the deep corruption, through grasping neoliberalism's dynamics alone. A longer memory and a more concrete analysis are needed. Today's intense individualisation impacts on pre-existing social relations, which inflect it unpredictably. From my own experience, I evoke the baseline of an older academy, gender-segregated, explicitly patriarchal and privileged in class and ethnic terms. I stress the feminist and democratic gains of the 1960s and 1970s. I sketch the (neoliberal) strategies that undermine or redirect them. I write this, hoping that the next episode can be written differently.
Gender insurgency and neoliberal reform: the academy twice transformed?
In/Difference in the neoliberalised university
Eva Bendix Petersen and Bronwyn Davies
In this article the authors take up the invitation to respond to the previous articles in the special issue. They discuss why it is so difficult to speak and write about gender and sexuality, and difference more generally, in the neoliberalised university. They make the case that the neoliberal university engages and uses categorical difference, and the individuals inhabiting these, mainly for auditing purposes. The authors develop the argument that despite the enterprise university's official commitments to diversity and inclusion, it remains indifferent to difference, understood as openness to becoming different, to differenciation in a Deleuzian sense. Difference is privatised and depoliticised and is only acceptable if it is useful and exploitable in pre-specified ways and if it conforms to and facilitates neoliberal agendas.
Rowena Murray, Sheila Trahar, and Nicholas Walliman
Eileen Carnell, Jacqui MacDonald, Bet McCallum and Mary Scott, M (2008) Passion and Politics: Academics Reflect on Writing for Publication
Review by Rowena Murray
Thushari Welikala and Chris Watkins (2008) Improving Intercultural Learning Experiences in Higher Education: Responding to Cultural Scripts for Learning
Review by Sheila Trahar
Karen Smith, Malcolm Todd and Julia Waldman (2009) Doing Your Undergraduate Social Science Dissertation
Review by Nicholas Walliman
Penny Welch and Susan Wright
Welcome to the first issue of the third volume of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences.
Global perspectives on advocating for change in doctoral education
George A. Martinez, Maresi Nerad, and Elizabeth Rudd
This workshop report summarises the potentially far-reaching deliberations and results of a conference of experts in doctoral education from around the world. The conference was organised jointly by the U.S. Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington, Seattle and the German International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) at the University of Kassel. Participants discussed critical issues in the globalisation of doctoral education, including global inequalities, diversity in types of students and modes of study, and intellectual risk-taking, and they sought to develop proposals for policy. The focus of the conference was on the research doctorate. This essay reports on the activities, discussions, and conclusions of the workshop. One of the task forces illustrated issues in the intellectual risk-taking faced by graduates by performing a highly realistic vignette written by a South African professor. We begin our workshop report with this vignette as a way to begin to frame the key issues.
Navigating teaching tensions for civic learning
This article seeks to build on current and emerging conceptions of teacher expertise as they relate to education for civic engagement and social awareness in the university classroom context. I explore the notion of teaching tensions between vulnerability and authority, authenticity and distance, safety and challenge, disclosure and neutrality, and social transformation as against individual agency. I argue that these tensions and the teacher decision-making processes involved in their navigation can add to university instructors' capacity to reflect on and evaluate curriculum design decisions when aiming to impact student social and civic identity development. I examine teaching tensions and their dynamic interaction through a self-study of my own teaching and of involving the students in a structured academic service-learning partnership with school pupils in a social studies methods course for pre-service teachers in the United States.
The reform of New Zealand's university system: 'after neoliberalism'
This article explores the legacy of three decades of neoliberal reforms on New Zealand's university system. By tracing the different government policies during this period, it seeks to contribute to wider debates about the trajectory of contemporary universities in an age of globalisation. Since Lyotard's influential report on The Postmodern Condition (1994), critics have frequently claimed that commercialisation and managerialism have undermined and supplanted the social mission of the university as governments throughout the developed world have sought to transform the university 'from an ideological arm of the state into a bureaucratically organised and relatively autonomous consumer-oriented corporation' (Readings 1996: 457). Against this I argue that the new model of the entrepreneurial and corporate university has not so much replaced the traditional functions and meaning of the university as added a new layer of complexity to the university's already diverse and multifaceted roles in society. Drawing on an ethnography of one university and personal observations, I explore the effects of that reform process on the culture and character of the university and, more specifically, its impact on academic identities and the everyday practices of academics and students. As in other OECD countries, New Zealand's universities are now required to deliver a bewildering plethora of government priorities and strategic economic and social objectives whilst simultaneously carrying out their traditional roles in teaching, research and scholarship. The challenge for the modern university, as reflected in the case of New Zealand, is how to negotiate these diverse and often contradictory missions.
Seven birds with one magic bullet: designing assignments that encourage student participation
At the Danish University School of Education we have experimented with a form of assessment called 'active participation'. A week before each class students are given reading guidelines and questions to help them approach the texts, and on the basis of one of those questions the students each write a two-page essay. The students are given electronic feedback on their essays (and might have to revise and resubmit them if they do not meet requirements). Among other things, the advantages of this type of examination are: that the students practise academic writing on a regular basis; that feedback becomes an integral part of teaching; that the students must read steadily over the whole semester; and that they are encouraged to take part in all the classes.
Writing Across Boundaries: reflections on the place of writing in doctoral research training for social scientists
Bob Simpson and Robin Humphrey
In the training of doctoral researchers in the use of qualitative research methods, considerable effort goes into preparation for fieldwork and the collection of data. Rather less attention, however, goes into what happens when they have collected their data and begin to make sense of it. In particular, relatively little attention has been paid to the ways in which doctoral researchers might be supported as they begin to write using qualitative data. In this article we report on an inter-disciplinary project that set out to develop research training for qualitative researchers who had completed their fieldwork and were about to embark on writing their theses. An important issue in the delivery of this training was the question of boundaries - disciplinary, academic, technological and personal - and how these might be productively negotiated in the quest for good social science writing.
Dan W. Butin, John Craig, Erin M. Sergison, and Ellen E. Gutman
Craig A. Rimmerman (ed.) (2009) Service-Learning and the Liberal Arts: How and Why It Works Review by Dan W. Butin
David Watson (2007) Managing Civic and Community Engagement Review by John Craig
Anne Colby, Elizabeth Beaumont, Thomas Ehrlich and Josh Corngold (2007) Educating for Democracy: Preparing Undergraduates for Responsible Political Engagement Review by Erin M. Sergison
Russell J. Dalton (2008) The Good Citizen: How a Younger Generation is Reshaping American Politics Review by Ellen E. Gutman