That universities have both followed the script of neoliberalism and helped write that script is no news to academic workers, to readers of Radical Teacher in particular. The corporatizing of higher education has ripped apart many conventions and structures of the postwar university: the professional self-organization of those who teach; their relative independence from administrative control; job security and decent pay; the tenure track; academic freedom; shared governance; universal access to college education; low tuition and debt load for students; face-to-face classroom relations; student engagement in the substance and practices of learning; the premise that higher education is a public good, to be funded accordingly. Much research has responded to these and related historical disruptions; scholars and activists are tentatively mapping a field now often called “Critical University Studies.”
Radical Teacher began in a volcano of critical, activist thought about the “coopted” university, open admissions, the politics of teaching, and so on, that erupted during the 1960s and 1970s. It has published many articles in this vein over its four decades. We now propose a focused issue on the shaping of critical university studies. We invite submission of completed manuscripts, formal proposals of a page or less, or correspondence about ideas for articles. Here’s a partial list of topics, meant only to suggest the range of our interests for this issue:
*Is it important to offer formal courses in this area? Units of study within existing courses?
*Within existing disciplines? General education programs? New curricular formations?
*How are people teaching about the politics and economics of higher education in writing courses?
*What are the risks of teaching critically about this subject, for teachers off the tenure track?
*Of linking critical study in the classroom to political conflicts on campus and beyond?
*How do we put democratic pedagogies to work in Critical University Studies?
*What about student collaborations with one another and with teachers?
*How do we involve students in the making of new knowledge about their own university?
*What myths and ideologies of college need to be challenged or dismantled?
*How should critical teaching confront the vocational turn in college education? The assessment craze?
*How may Critical University Studies connect to insights and controversies from liberation movements of the past 50 years?
*How do we meet resistance from students to learning bad things about the educational system they have worked so hard to enter? About the possibility of having been scammed?
*How can Critical University Studies move toward class solidarity, not individualist withdrawal?
Send proposals or questions by Sept. 1, 2016
to the issue editor, Bob Samuels: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
with copies to: James Davis JCDavis@brooklyn.cuny.edu, Richard Ohmann email@example.com, and Ellen Schrecker firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles should be submitted to Radical Teacher’s online system by December 15, 2016 for formal, blind consideration.