Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together

Interesting piece at the Impact of Social Sciences blog by Mark Carrigan.


The imagined slowness of university life has given way to a frenetic pace, defined by a perpetual ratcheting up of demands and an entrepreneurial ethos seeking new and quantifiable opportunities. Mark Carrigan explores the toxic elements of this culture and its underlying structural roots. As things get faster, we tend to accept things as they are rather than imagining how they might be. But the very speed of social media may act as a short-circuit. The limited investment necessary means that social media can allow the imagination to thrive. 

When questioned by a friend in 1980 as to whether he was happy at Princeton, the philosopher Richard Rorty replied that he was “delighted that I lucked into a university which pays me to make up stories and tell them”. He went on to suggest that “Universities permit one to read books and report what one thinks about them, and get paid for it” and that this is why he saw himself first and foremost as a writer, in spite of his already entrenched antipathy towards the philosophical profession which would grow with time. It’s a lovely idea, isn’t it? This is the thought that keeps coming back to me as I’m preparing to participate in the Time Without Time symposium in Edinburgh later this week… [continues]

This is an edited extract of a three part reflection (Part 1Part 2Part 3) which first appeared on the author’s personal blog.

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English translation of Deleuze’s first seminar (1956-57): What is grounding? – open-access e-book

An English translation of Deleuze’s first seminar from 1956-57, What is grounding? is available to download. The book is open access, and just needs an email address to receive the download link. A French version is online here.


What is Grounding? is Gilles Deleuze’s first seminar, and is distinguished in that, rather than “taking an author from behind and giving him a child that would be his offspring, yet monstrous”, the work focuses instead on the question of grounding, defined both as “the sufficient reason for concrete entities”, and “the point of departure for philosophy”, in translator Arjen Kleinherenbrink’s terms. Rather than foregrounding method, in which human subjective experience remains primary, here Deleuze affirms the centrality of system, of things and the relations between things.

“Nothing less than the ur-text for Deleuze’s pre-1970s philosophy, an original sketch of his main themes and problems, which are all present in intensely compacted form” – Christian Kerslake (Radical Philosophy).

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Top posts this week on Progressive Geographies

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David Nicholls, “Google v old-fashioned legwork – how to research a novel” – reflections on literature and sense of place

David Nicholls, “Google v old-fashioned legwork – how to research a novel” – reflections on literature and sense of place.

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Global Capitalism and Forms of Urban Regeneration – tribute conference to Neil Smith

I previously shared the Spanish language call for this conference, but here’s the English details – interpretation will be provided.

Neil Smith, who prematurely died in 2012, has had an immense influence on the discipline of geography and on the social sciences in general: his works on global capitalism, uneven development and processes of urban regeneration and gentrification are key contributions. His theorizations on space as a product of capitalist development and on the strategies of capital over the processes of urban change have been used worldwide in many empirical studies. His militancy and activism in several causes is still today an example of commitment and involvement for all social scientists.

This conference, organized by [espaiscritics], focuses on Neil Smith’s work and is addressed to all those interested in urban social theory. It will rely on the presence of the most prestigious international experts on the work and the topics that defined Neil Smith’s trajectory. The conference is open to the participation of academics and researchers as well as to activists and members of social urban movements.

On the occasion of the conference, volume 6 of the “Espacios críticos” series will be launched. The book is specifically devoted to the intellectual figure of Neil Smith and is written by professors Luz Marina García Herrera and Fernando Sabaté Bel (Universidad de La Laguna). The “Espacios críticos” series (Icaria Edtorial) is directed by Abel Albet (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and Núria Benach (Universitat de Barcelona).

Keynotes from Deborah Cowen, Don Mitchell, Luz Marina García Herrera, Tom Slater, Fernando Sabaté Bel and Maria Dolors Garcia Ramon. Call for papers and more details here.

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Penser le « néolibéralisme » Le moment néolibéral, Foucault, et la crise du socialisme (2015)


Another volume in the neoliberalism debate…

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Serge Audier, Penser le « néolibéralisme ». Le moment néolibéral, Foucault, et la crise du socialisme, Lormont, Le Bord de l’eau, coll. « Documents », 2015, 570 p., ISBN : 9782356874030.

Further Info

Qu’est-ce vraiment que le néolibéralisme ? Et comment en sortir ?

Pour répondre à ces questions, il peut être utile d’élucider d’abord le sens du basculement néolibéral que le monde a connu depuis la fin des années 1970.

Il se trouve que c’est précisément durant cette période, en 1979, que Michel Foucault devait prononcer au Collège de France quelques leçons sur le néolibéralisme appelées à connaître bien plus tard un succès fulgurant. Depuis, un flot ininterrompu de publications ne cesse de célébrer en Foucault le grand prophète du néolibéralisme.

Pour beaucoup, tout a été déjà dit sur l’essence de la « rationalité néolibérale » dans ces leçons géniales qui ont parfaitement su anticiper notre monde, celui…

View original 220 more words

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Provisionalia: Index Librorum Scholasticorum – guide and repository for texts and translations of scholastic philosophy and theology

Provisionalia: Index Librorum Scholasticorum – collated by Robert Pasnau.

Provisionalia is a guide and repository for texts and translations of scholastic philosophy and theology. The site aspires to list every scholastic author whose works have been the subject of scholarly attention, and to provide the following information:

The titles of their extant works and the dates of composition

Brief publication information for any Latin editions and translations into any language

Information about editions and translations in progress.

Links, where available, to provisional editions and translations.

The site will not in general attempt to provide links to digital reproductions of older books.

Looks an invaluable resource for people working in this area. Thanks to Alfred Denker for the link.

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Andrew Barry, “Geography and Other Disciplines” – discussion of genealogy and the canon

BarryAndrew Barry has a very interesting new essay published, “Geography and Other Disciplines” – a discussion of geography and the canon. There is also an introduction to the theme issue of which this is part by Richard Powell [update: corrected from earlier suggestion this was a reply]. Barry makes quite extensive use of my book The Birth of Territory and some of the more methodological pieces I wrote around that time; situating his argument around the ideas of Quentin Skinner, Michel Foucault and Isabelle Stengers. Both papers require subscription.

Posted in Andrew Barry, Books, Isabelle Stengers, Politics, Publishing, Quentin Skinnner, Territory | 2 Comments

Camilla Boano reviews Lefebvre’s Towards an Architecture of Enjoyment (requires subscription)

LefebvreCamilla Boano reviews Lefebvre’s Towards an Architecture of Enjoyment in The Journal of Architecture (requires subscription).

The review is quite detailed, and makes use of the interview I conducted with editor Łukasz Stanek for the Society and Space open site.

Good to see this book get some more attention – there was also a review by Gastón Gordillo for Society and Space earlier this year – this is open access.

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Osama bin Laden’s bookshelf

A little late linking to this, but the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released information of what was found in the compound used by bin Laden. (It would appear the timing is linked to the Seymour Hersh story about the raid that killed him, just published in London Review of Books). This includes what was on his ‘bookshelf‘, though they later clarify that all the English-language texts were e-books – see also news reports such as the one from the BBC. I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about Amazon delivery here…

bin-ladin_bookshelf_5Here are some of the books:-

  • Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert
  • Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky
  • Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer
  • New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin
  • Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward
  • Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower by William Blum

These are an interesting mix, and assuming they were read, would give a range of perspectives from the Washington-insider approach of Woodward, to the critique of US-foreign policy of Blum and Chomsky to the conspiracy theories of Griffin. There was a section of my book Terror and Territory called ‘Reading bin Laden’. Some of the rest of the book might have been called ‘Reading bin Laden’s reading’.


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