The social benefits expected from academia are generally identified as belonging to three broad categories: research, education and contribution to society in general. However, evaluating the present situation of academia according to these criteria reveals a somewhat disturbing phenomenon: an increased pressure to produce articles (in peer-reviewed journals) has created an unbalanced emphasis on the research criterion at the expense of the latter two. More fatally, this pressure has turned academia into a rat race, leading to a deep change in the fundamental structure of academic behaviour, and entailing a self-defeating and hence counter-productive pattern, where more publications is always better and where it becomes increasingly difficult for researchers to keep up with the new research in their field. The article identifies the pressure to publish as a problem of collective action. It ends up by raising questions about how to break this vicious circle and restore a better balance between all three of the social benefits of academia.
Xavier Landes, Martin Marchman, and Morten Nielsen
Linda Hose and E.J. Ford
Based on personal experiences garnered through years of adjunct instruction, the authors explore the challenges associated with working in academia without the guarantees of a long-term contract or tenure. Further, adjuncts are desperate to accept any position that is remunerative and this willingness undermines contract negotiation leverage of every member of the academic teaching community.
Apply at the ASA Decennial Conference, Edinburgh, June 2014
The ASA’s Network of Applied Anthropologists (Apply) held a panel session at the ASA’s decennial conference in Edinburgh, June 2014. Entitled ‘Facing Outwards: Anthropology Beyond Academia’, the panel welcomed papers that addressed anthropological work and co-work outside conventional academic anthropology. The session was convened by Mary Adams (Kings College London) and Rachael Gooberman-Hill (University of Bristol), and three presenters provided an engaged audience with examples of their work. The presentations fuelled discussion about relationships in research and practice and the translation of anthropological ideas for non-anthropological audiences.
Most academics that I know take it for granted that higher education in capitalist countries has become deeply corporatised over the last thirty years. But as an undergraduate student in the 1990s, dreaming of joining the ranks of the professoriate, the institutional and structural changes that were transforming the university were largely hidden from my view. Looking back, I had no idea how such trends might be impacting the men and women who excited my intellect and set me on an academic path. I did not even think to ask.
Universities and the Politics of Accountability
Don Brenneis, Cris Shore, and Susan Wright
Audit culture and the politics of accountability are transforming not just universities and their role in society, but the very notions of society, academics and students. The modern 'university of excellence' applies a totalising and coercive commensurability to virtually every aspect of university life, from research output and teaching quality to parking space. But more than this, the politics of accountability enmesh universities in conflicts over neoliberal transformations which are taking a wide variety of forms in different parts of Europe, North and South America, and Australasia.
Neoliberal values and ideology, which have broadly undermined social justice ideals, have been inserted into a range of public spheres both in the U.S.A. and internationally. Public higher education institutions have increasingly acquiesced to neoliberal strategies, which restrict access to public services, commodify the public sphere and challenge the legitimacy of progressive and liberal politics. This article explores some neoliberal practices at one public institution of higher education in the United States. I present three incidents that took place between 2000 and 2006 at a college that is part of a public State University system: a shift to disparagement of 'activism' in a college that had prided itself on its activist traditions; a confusion over the profitable marketability of Global Black Studies, in a context where political pressures diminished 'minority' perspectives in the interest of reasserting homogeneous 'Western civilisation'; and a partnership between this public college and a prestigious private university. In each case I explore my own response in terms of faculty governance, and how I developed new courses and pedagogies to open up these aspects of the operation of neoliberalism to critical examination by students. These incidents show how neoliberal practices create fear and feelings of vulnerability among faculty, especially faculty members of colour; they also show the importance of developing critical pedagogies to expose their assaults on social justice and equity.
A Story of Media and Academia in Israel, 1977–2013
Hagai Boas and Ayelet Baram-Tsabari
idiosyncratic. Launched in October 1977, the program represented an exceptional intersection of academia and popular media. By not conforming to the short-bit framing of radio, on the one hand, or the reference format of academic texts, on the other, The
A migrant academic's experiences of the visa regime in the Global North
As academia becomes more globalised and there is increasing movement of scholars and students around the world, a number of questions about Global South scholars’ participation and engagement in global academia remain unaddressed. A key question
to get established and to contribute its share to the academia of the Middle East and from there to the academia and the public in the Middle East, and to the world of anthropology at large. We have had a variety of difficulties, as you will see in
Challenges and Sparks of Being a Dual-Citizen Woman Researcher in Iran
project in 2017, within the climate of anxiety and suspicion characterising the Italian academia after the murder of the Cambridge PhD student Giulio Regeni during the summer of 2016 in Cairo; the months I spent on the field also coincided with the