Tuesday, February 4, 2014

1/31 Discussion: The research university

This week, we discussed each of the assigned readings in turn. Although discussion of each piece was fairly separate, there were several general themes touched on throughout the class period, and questions that we can continue to consider in following weeks. Please point out anything I didn't pick up on in the comments! It's possible that each of us took something different away from discussion.

  1. Historical trajectory of research universities
    1. Where does research take place? Where should it?
    2. How have current structures and practices developed?
  2. The prevailing structures of the research university
    1. Who is employed in research? Graduate students, post-docs, PhD scientists, adjuncts, professors. 
    2. How do these groups perpetuate existing structures? 
    3. Can structures be subverted?
  3. The role of economics
    1. What is the value of research? Is there intrinsic value to doing research, or is marketable research valuable?
    2. Who funds research? What are the relationships between sponsors and the university/researcher?
    3. The pressure of student demand
    4. Entrepreneurialism and employment
    5. International competition
  4. The role of rhetoric in academic and public discussion
  5. The role of dichotomies and how we can problematize them
    1. The practical vs. the cultural: how is this perspective damaging? where is it subverted?
    2. Public vs. private (university and sector)
    3. Specialist vs. creative
    4. "Alt-academic" vs. "traditional"
  6. Interdisciplinary research and how is relates to the above (existing structures, subversion, perceived dichotomies)

No comments: