Endings and Beginnings

2 Replies to “Endings and Beginnings”

  1. Mark, I don’t know if you recall meeting me, but we talked briefly at Spartanburg a couple summers ago. I’m at UK and am working with Randall Roorda there (he introduced us).

    This blog looks great and I intend to follow along, join in discussions, and think through these issues as they come up!

    Taylor’s New York Times article has drawn a lot of reaction, mostly negative, from people in academia. Perhaps you’ve seen Mar Bosquet’s response (http://howtheuniversityworks.com/wordpress/archives/196).

    Do you think that the issues of labor inequity, exploitation, and lack of compensation for both graduate students and contingent faculty has to be resolved before academia can right itself, or do you think that his interdisciplinary model of learning is something that will in itself be a corrective?

  2. Hi, Andrew, wonderful to hear from you. Yes, I read Bosquet’s blog posting. It is interesting to watch how his thinking about the university works. Most of my own thinking about these issues (on this blog) has been designed to raise questions rather than to speak as if I know what is the truth and what is the power. In some ways, I admire Bosquet’s confidence and brash invectives; but what I am trying to do in my postings on this blog is to move in a different direction. In fact both Taylor and Bosquet’s rhetoric moves out in a centripetal manner to encompass a broader discourse of academic systems and structures. My own attempt is to move from this discourse back into the lived realities of our lives. I guess I am hoping to inspire myself and others to think centripetally from these larger issues to the actual teaching and learning conditions of individual people trying to live lives in less than ideal circumstances. For example (and to answer your question more directly), I am not at all confident that the “interdisciplinary model of learning” you mention will serve as a corrective. We are experimenting with such a model at my institution and our work has done little to address the issues of labor inequity, exploitation, and lack of compensation for both graduate students and contingent faculty. It seems the only way we can deal with these issues is through collective bargaining.

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