In a recent entry in the New York Times‘ philosophy blog “The Stone,” Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle locate a “momentous turning point” in the history of philosophy: its institutionalization in the research university in the late 19th century. This, they argue, is when philosophy lost its way—when it became subject to the dictates of the academy, placed in competition with the hard sciences, and forced to prove its worth as an instrument of profit and progress. Well over a hundred years after this development, we debate a wider crisis in higher education, as universities (writes Mimi Howard in the Los Angeles Review of Books) “increasingly resemble global corporations with their international campuses and multibillion dollar endowments. Tuition has skyrocketed. Debt is astronomical. The classrooms themselves are more often run on the backs of precarious adjuncts and graduate students than by real professors.”
Josh Jones of Open Culture says, “Of all the archives I’ve surveyed, used in my own research, and presented to Open Culture readers, none has seemed to me vaster than Europeana Collections, a portal of ‘48,796,394 artworks, artefacts, books, videos and sounds from across Europe,’ sourced from well over 100 institutions such as The European Library, Europhoto, the National Library of Finland, University College Dublin, Museo Galileo, and many, many more, including contributions from the public at large.”
The conditions of working-class people in the global north are converging with the conditions of the global south.
Nancy Fraser. From authors’ collection. All rights reserved.Over the past two decades, we have witnessed a permanent global crisis in our political systems, from an increasingly precarious labour market to mass media monopolisation. On a recent visit to Paris, we sat down with the post-socialist philosopher Nancy Fraser, author of Fortunes of feminism: from state-managed capitalism to neoliberal crisis (Verso, 2013) to discuss the historical context of the economic crisis, global mobilisations, and transnational autonomy. How do these three political perspectives interact, in an ever-evolving, critical economic scenario that makes visible the differences between the global north and south?
Sometimes I’ll meet someone who mentions having written a book, and who then adds, “… well, an academic book, anyway,” as if that didn’t really count. True, academic books don’t tend to debut at the heights of the bestseller lists amid all the eating, praying, and loving, but sometimes lightning strikes; sometimes the subject of the author’s research happens to align with what the public believes they need to know. Other times, academic books succeed at a slower burn, and it takes readers generations to come around to the insights contained in them — a less favorable royalty situation for the long-dead writer, but at least they can take some satisfaction in the possibility.