keynote lectures

Click through to access video recordings:

Creating Publics Keynote lecture 1: Professor Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina ‘Practices of knowledge in a complex world: experiments in collaboration and conversation’ (26 March 2012)

Outline: While there are many conversations about the university under attack, I want to begin with the uncertainties of knowledge itself—the result in part of attacks from both the left and the right, but more importantly, from the very practices that worked so well for the past century.  Cultural studies, as I understand it, begins with a responsibility to its context, a responsibility expressed in its effort to produce the best knowledge possible.  But that means transforming the material practices and social relations of intellectual labor, experimenting in new collaborations, imagining new conversations and rearticulating the university as an institution.

Creating Publics Keynote lecture 2: Professor John Holmwood, University of Nottingham ‘Markets, Expertise and the Public University: A crisis in knowledge for democracy?’ (28 June 2012)

Outline: Mass higher education is a product of democracy and, largely, a product of the public university. Yet the expansion of higher education has also extended beyond the boundaries of national political communities to create opportunities for profit and prestige. Multinational knowledge corporations vie for market share with fee-greedy elite universities selling education as a positional good, with public higher education increasingly starved of funding. Prior to the emergence of mass higher education, there was widely regarded to be a crisis of democracy deriving from the complexity of public issues and the necessity of experts to advise governments. This was the context for John Dewey’s articulation of the idea of the ‘public’ and the role of the university in education for democracy. With the return of an aggressive neo-liberal agenda that seeks to replace politics with markets, and universities also subject to neo-liberal reforms that place consumer sovereignty at the heart of education and measure knowledge in terms of its ‘impact’, this lecture poses the question of whether we face a new crisis of democracy.

Creating Publics Keynote lecture 3: Professor Rachel Pain, University of Durham ‘Impacting publics: striking a blow or walking together?’ (19 February 2013)

Outline: The University is just one site where the idea of public good is under threat from marketisation and shallow audit rather than deep accountability. My starting point is alignment between Universities and a range of wider publics and organisations in the context of recession and austerity. Reflecting on different responses to the impact agenda, I suggest that the particular form of impact being measured is reproducing longer-standing power/knowledge hierarchies. I consider some alternative framings and practices of impact (with) publics.


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