Between Representations: Identity Crisis and the Bureaucratization of the University
Keywords:Techno-capitalism, pedagogy, ideology, theory, university
Abstract“Between Representations” is an attempt to think the nature of the crisis of the university by re-engaging with the thought of Bill Readings and George Grant. The discussion is situated in the context of a more general crisis of representation manifest in recent attempts to celebrate Canada’s coming 150 years since Confederation. While the essay begins with an indication of the continuity of Readings’s with Grant’s argument, it focuses on Grant’s argument that the university today works to legitimate the techno-capitalist society of which it is a part and develops his suggestion that this is most significant in the context of the humanities and social sciences where it is least apparent. In developing Grant’s argument, the essay turns to questions of pedagogy and in particular the meaning and mode of engaging with “theory”. In considering the nature of theory, the paper suggests one possible mode of engaging with the crisis of representation that centres on work conducted in the classroom.
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