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Daily Archives: June 16th, 2014

Education Not for Sale

Education Not for Sale

THE LABOUR OF ACADEMIA

ephemera: theory & politics in organization

The labour of academia

Submission deadline: 28 February 2015

Call for Papers

 

Issue Editors: Nick Butler, Helen Delaney and Martyna Śliwa

It is well known that the purpose of the contemporary university is being radically transformed by the encroachment of corporate imperatives into higher education (Beverungen, et al., 2008; Svensson, et al., 2010;). This has inevitable consequences for managerial interventions, research audits and funding structures. But it also impacts on the working conditions of academic staff in university institutions in terms of teaching, research, administration and public engagement. Focusing on this level of analysis, the special issue seeks to explore questions about how the work of scholars is being shaped, managed and controlled under the burgeoning regime of ‘academic capitalism’ (Rhoades and Slaughter, 2004) and in turn to ask what might be done about it.

There is a case to be made that the modern university is founded on principles of rationalization and bureaucratization; there has always been a close link between money, markets and higher education (Collini, 2013). But the massification of higher education in recent years, combined with efforts to reduce the reliance on state funding, has led to the university being managed in much the same way as any other large industrial organization (Morley, 2003; Deem, et al., 2007). This is particularly pronounced in an economy that privileges knowledge-based labour over other forms of productive activity, which underlines Bill Readings’ (1996: 22) point that the university is not just being run like a corporation – it is a corporation. We witness this trend in the increasing prominence of mission statements, university branding and cost-benefit analysis (Bok, 2009). We also see it in the introduction of tuition fees, which turns students into consumers, universities into service-providers, and degree programmes into investment projects (Lawrence and Sharma, 2002). Universities are now in the business of selling intangible goods, not least of all the ineffable product of ‘employability’ (Chertkovskaya, et al., 2013).

In parallel, there has been a marked intensification of academic labour in recent years, manifested in higher work-loads, longer hours, precarious contracts and more invasive management control via performance indicators such as TQM and the balanced scorecard (Morley and Walsh, 1996; Bryson, 2004; Archer, 2008; Bousquet, 2008; Clarke, et al., 2012). The personal and professional lives of academic staff are deeply affected by such changes in the structures of higher education, leading to increased stress, alienation, feelings of guilt and other negative emotions (Ogbonna and Harris, 2004).

While many scholars suffer under these conditions, others find themselves adapting to the tenets of academic enterprise culture in order to seek out opportunities for career development and professional advancement. The consequences for the quality of scholarship, however, may be far from positive. Indeed, recent studies suggest that academics may be more willing to ‘play the publication game’ at the expense of genuine critical inquiry (Butler and Spoelstra, 2014). There is a palpable sense that ‘journal list fetishism’ (Willmott, 2011) is coming to shape not only patterns of knowledge production in higher education but also how academics are coming to relate to themselves and their own research. These trends suggest that the Humboldtian idea of the university – which measures the value of scientific-philosophical knowledge (Wissenschaft) according to the degree of cultivation (Bildung) it produces – has been superseded by a regime based on journal rankings, citation rates, impact factors and other quantitative metrics used to assess and reward research ‘output’ (Lucas, 2006).

Some scholars have pointed to the possibilities for resistance to the regime of academic capitalism. Rolfe (2013) suggests that what is required is the development of a rhizomatic paraversity that operates below the surface of the neoliberal university. This would serve to reintroduce the ‘non-productive labour of thought’ (2013: 53) into university life, thereby emphasizing quality over quantity and critique over careerism. Efforts such as Edu-factory may also point towards fruitful directions for the future of higher education beyond neoliberal imperatives (Edu-factory Collective, 2009). In this special issue, we seek to diagnose the state of the contemporary university as well as uncover potentialities for dwelling subversively within and outside the ‘ruins of the university’ (Readings, 1996; Raunig, 2013).

Towards this aim, we invite submissions that consider the following questions:

  • What are the new and emerging discourses of academic work?
  • What is being commodified under conditions of academic capitalism and what are the consequences?
  • How are current trends shaping the way academics relate to themselves, their research, peers, students, the public and other stakeholders?
  • How does alienation and exploitation occur in the academic labour process?
  • In what ways do gender, race, sexuality, age and class matter to the study of academic labour?
  • What is happening to academic identity, ethos and ideals in the contemporary university?
  • How do academics cope with the demands and tensions of their work?
  • How can we theorise the historical shifts surrounding academic labour?
  • How is the academic labour market being polarized?
  • What are the varieties of academic capitalism in different terrains?
  • How do we account for the historical shift in academic labour?
  • What are the rewards and riches of contemporary academic labour?
  • How can we imagine alternative choices, collectives, discourses and identities in the university?
  • Is it worth defending the current conditions of academic work?

Deadline for submissions: 28th February 2015

All contributions should be submitted to one of the issue editors: Nick Butler (nick.butler  AT fek.lu.se), Helen Delaney (h.delaney AT auckland.ac.nz) or Martyna Śliwa (masliwa AT essex.ac.uk).

Please note that three categories of contributions are invited for the special issue: articles, notes, and reviews. All submissions should follow ephemera’s submissions guidelines (www.ephemerajournal.org/how-submit). Articles will undergo a double blind review process.  For further information, please contact one of the special issue editors.

References

Archer, L. (2008) ‘The new neoliberal subjects? Young/er academics’ constructions of professional identity’, Journal of Education Policy, 23(3): 265-285.

Beverungen, A., S. Dunne and B.M. Sørensen (2008) ‘University, failed’, ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 8(3): 232-237.

Bok, D. (2009) Universities in the marketplace: The commercialization of higher education. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bousquet, M. (2008) How the university works: Higher education and the low-wage nation. New York: NYU Press.

Bryson, C. (2004) ‘What about the workers? The expansion of higher education and the transformation of academic work’, Industrial Relations Journal, 35(1): 38-57.

Butler, N. and S. Spoelstra (2014) ‘The regime of excellence and the erosion of ethos in critical management studies’, British Journal of Management,  DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12053.

Chertkovskaya, E., P. Watt, S. Tramer and S. Spoelstra (2013) ‘Giving notice to employability’,ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 13(4): 701-716.

Clarke, C., D. Knights, and C. Jarvis (2012) ‘A labour of love? Academics in business schools’,Scandinavian Journal of Management, 28(1): 5-15.

Collini, S. (2013) ‘Sold out’, London Review of Books, 35(20): 3-12.

Deem, R., S. Hillyard and M. Reed (2007) Knowledge, higher education, and the new managerialism: The changing management of UK universities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Edu-factory Collective (2009) Towards a global autonomous university. New York: Autonomedia.

Lawrence, S. and U. Sharma (2002) ‘Commodification of education and academic labour: Using the balanced scorecard in a university setting’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 13(5): 661-677.

Lucas, L. (2006) The research game in academic life. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International.

Morley, L. (2003) Quality and power in higher education. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International.

Morley, L. and V. Walsh (eds.) (1996) Breaking boundaries: Women in higher education. London: Taylor & Francis.

Ogbonna, E. and L.C. Harris (2004) ‘Work intensification and emotional labour among UK university lecturers: An exploratory study’, Organization Studies, 25(7): 1185-1203.

Readings, B. (1996) The university in ruins. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Rolfe, G. (2013) The university in dissent: Scholarship in the corporate university. London: Routledge.

Rhoades, G. and S. Slaughter (2004) Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: JHU Press.

Raunig, G. (2013) Factories of knowledge, industries of creativity. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Svensson, P., S. Spoelstra, M. Pedersen and S. Schreven (2010) ‘The excellent institution’,ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 10(1): 1-6.

Willmott, H. (2011) ‘Journal list fetishism and the perversion of scholarship: reactivity and the ABS list’, Organization, 18(4): 429-442.

 

See: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/content/labour-academia-0

ephemera: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/

Teaching Marx

Teaching Marx

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Modernism

Modernism

MARXISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF VALUE

The editorial board of Mediations is pleased to announce the publication of our latest dossier, Marxism and the Critique of Value.

This double issue is being published simultaneously as a book, which can be downloaded as a free PDF from M-C-M′ (http://www.mcmprime.com) and which is also available in paperback (ISBN 978-0989549707).

Consisting of some 400 pages of new translations from the German-language Wertkritik tendency, Marxism and the Critique of Value presents a landmark effort to complete the critique of the value-form begun by Marx.

The full text can, as always, be accessed at mediationsjournal.org, where it is accompanied by book reviews by Roberto Schwarz, Josh Robinson, Barbara Foley and Kanishka Chowdhury, and Matthew Moraghan.

 

DOSSIER: MARXISM AND THE CRITIQUE OF VALUE

Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literary Group

Volume 27, Nos. 1-2 Fall/Spring 2013-14

 

Editors’ Note

 

Norbert Trenkle: Value and Crisis: Basic Questions

Norbert Trenkle tackles fundamental questions posed by the critique of value. How does it differ from other Marxisms? What are the consequences of the critique of value for the category of labor and for the labor theory of value? What is its relationship to socialism as an economic project? What is the relationship between the value-form and capitalist crisis? Can the critique of capitalism still be undertaken from the standpoint of labor?

 

Robert Kurz: The Crisis of Exchange Value: Science as Productivity, Productive Labor, and Capitalist Reproduction

As long as value is allowed to hold sway as an element of second nature, the Left will not be able adequately to understand the developments in the productive forces that characterized the twentieth century. Robert Kurz lays out the fundamental coordinates that tie the critique of value to the theory of crisis.

 

Claus Peter Ortlieb: A Contradiction between Matter and Form: On the Significance of the Production of Relative Surplus Value in the Dynamic of Terminal Crisis

Building on the insights of Capital I, and dispatching common liberal misunderstandings of those insights, Claus Peter Ortlieb makes the case for what mainstream economists euphemistically call “secular stagnation”: that is, an economic crisis that cannot be resolved by economic means.

 

Roswitha Scholz: Patriarchy and Commodity Society: Gender without the Body

Can there be a feminist materialism that does not rely on the fundamentally anti-Marxist materialism of the body? What is the relationship between capitalism, patriarchy, and feminist deconstruction? Roswitha Scholz introduces the concept of “value-dissociation,” under which capitalist societies necessarily consign labor that does not valorize capital — but that is nonetheless essential to its production and reproduction — to a subordinate, feminized zone.

 

Norbert Trenkle: The Rise and Fall of the Working Man: Towards a Critique of Modern Masculinity

In order to be able to understand the current economic crisis in particular and the emergence and development of capitalism in general, Norbert Trenkle argues, it is necessary to account for capitalism’s gendered social dimension. What can the connection between modern masculinity and the logic of modern labor tell us about the current crisis and the relation between capitalist form and its corresponding social structures?

 

Ernst Lohoff: Off Limits, Out of Control: Commodity Society and Resistance in the Age of

Deregulation and Denationalization

Despite all violent disagreements, mainstream Left and Right agree that what is at stake is the role of the state: is it “off limits” or “out of control”? But what if the role of the state — as with the flight to finance — is epiphenomenal to an underlying crisis-process? What are the possible political responses? Ernst Lohoff argues that rather than a rearguard defense of the state, the slogan of free access could organize a plausible Left project.

 

Robert Kurz: World Power and World Money: The Economic Function of the U.S. Military Machine within Global Capitalism and the Background of the New Financial Crisis

In an article written in the initial stages of the 2007-8 financial crisis, Robert Kurz traces its origins to the Reaganite policy of “weaponized Kenyesianism” that stabilized the world dollar economy and established the dominant flows of debt and goods that would persist until the onset of the crisis: phenomena that are generally recognized on the Left as well as on the Right only in inverted form.

 

Norbert Trenkle: Struggle without Classes: Why There Is No Resurgence of the Proletariat in the Currently Unfolding Capitalist Crisis

Class struggle played a historically indispensable role in the constitution of the working class as a subject conscious of its pursuit of a social mission. But can a class subject point to a future beyond capitalist social relations today? Is “declassing” a mere appearance? Or, on the contrary, do contemporary attempts to think struggle in class terms, no matter how sublimated, diguised, misrecognized, or sophisticated, lead up a blind alley?

 

Ernst Lohoff: Violence as the Order of Things and the Logic of Annihilation

How, after the end of the Cold War and the universalization of a supposedly pacifying market logic, are we to understand contemporary violence? The answer, suggests Ernst Lohoff, lies in the emergence of modern subjectivity and its origins in the Englightemnent: origins deeply bound up in the emergence of the value-form.

 

Robert Kurz: The Nightmare of Freedom: The Foundations of “Western Values” and the Helplessness of Critique

Are freedom and equality Left values? Certainly they inform historical Marxism and anarchism as much as liberalism. But what if the concepts themselves are bound up with the logic of the market? What if freedom is only a naked function of the valorization process — a moment in capital’s self-mediation — that is, of universal unfreedom? Utopias of circulation, of markets without money, suddenly look wildly implausible.

 

Karl-Heinz Lewed: Curtains for Universalism: Islamism as Fundamentalism in Modern Social Form

In most writing about political Islam — even from the Left — it is understood, even where a vulgar “clash of civilizations” thesis is rejected, to be fundamentally other to Western social and political forms. Karl-Heinz Lewed argues that political Islam is nothing other than a form of appearance of a general world crisis, one which makes its first appearance in the failed modernizations of the Third World. Political Islam is one attempt to resolve an impasse central to the Enlightenment mobilization of the dialectic of universal and particular: a dialectic which itself owes its historical resonance to the emergence of the value form.

 

Robert Kurz: On the Current Global Economic Crisis: Questions and Answers

How can we understand the current global economic crisis? What can we expect to happen in the next few years? How will this crisis force us to rethink critique, the nature of global social movements, and concepts such as revolution? For Robert Kurz, the critique of value is at the same time an analysis of the crisis, and the analysis of the crisis is of necessity a critique of value.

 

Robert Kurz: The Ontological Break: Before the Beginning of a Different World History

The debate over globalization seems to have reached a moment of exhaustion. Why? The process underlying globalization is, if anything, still in its initial stages. The endpoint we have reached is rather a categorical one: the exhaustion of an entire universe of historical concepts, which, argues Robert Kurz, we now have to learn to do without.

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Roberto Schwarz reviews Robert Kurz’s The Collapse of Modernization

Josh Robinson reviews Ernst Lohoff’s and Norbert Trenkle’s The Great Devaluation

Barbara Foley and Kanishka Chowdhury review Kevin B. Anderson’s Marx at the Margins

Matthew Moraghan reviews Arundhati Roy’s Walking with the Comrades

 

Mediations: Journal of the Marxist Literacy Grouphttp://www.mediationsjournal.org/

First published in: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/mediations-27.1-2-marxism-and-the-critique-of-value

 

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk