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[Xmca-l] Re: Public intellectuals

Hi Anna,

Thank you very much for your comments. Would you mind explaining in more
details why you expect the imminent catastrophe of annihilation of our
world of scholarship ? I am sure that we all feel a sense of danger and
emergency, but I am not sure that we all have the same things in mind when
we think about these things. I am a "young" scholar (not so young in life,
but young in the academy) and quite surprised, indeed, by what is happening
around, and how people do (not) react. For example in our university, the
administration decided in November to cut the number of hours by 10% this
year, without any concertation, and asked the teachers to choose which
courses should be suppressed and to tell their students - and only 10 out
of more than 300 teachers resisted to this...
Best regards,

2014-02-22 9:44 GMT+01:00 Sfard, Anna <annasfar@math.msu.edu>:

> This discussion seems to me vitally important. The nice thing about us,
> the xmca-ers, is that we are able to muster this special, critical-ironic
> look at things.
> Not always, though, the criticism and irony go far enough. I think the
> discussion, so far, has not acknowledged the seriousness of the problem.
> Bad, very bad things are happening in academia these days, some of them
> signaled in the present conversation, and some of them still left
> unmentioned. In my opinion, we are witnessing academic climate change and
> are possibly heading toward the annihilation of the world of scholarship.
> These are strong words, I know, but I wonder what counter-arguments the
> deniers may offer. I also think that perhaps the only way to fight this
> imminent catastrophe (and our own present predicament as the dwellers of
> the ivory tower) is to refuse collaboration with the forces that cause the
> erosion. I do realize, of course, that such decision is easy to make when
> you have already had your time in the academia and are relatively
> untouchable. Still, if we refused collectively....
> In this context I want to recommend two relevant publications: first, the
> book by the British sociologist Michael Billig with the title that says it
> all: Learn to write badly: How to succeed in the social sciences.  (2013,
> Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press; note the pessimistic ending
> of the book); and second - the text by Zaheer Baber, titled "Said, Mills
> and Jargon" - see
> http://www.epw.in/system/files/Said%20Mills%20and%20Jargon_0.pdf
> To these, I am adding yet another piece of writing, this time by myself
> (see the attachment). This is a fragment of a text, now in print, which I
> wrote for the celebratory 100th issue of a small but exceptional journal in
> mathematics education with the name somewhat unusual in its form, "for the
> learning of mathematics" (note the adverbial format and the lower case).
>  Run by Canadians, the journal follows the unwritten rules established by
> its founder, the Englishman David Wheeler. These rules make it stand out
> within the general landscape of the academic publishing (or to protrude
> from the academic box, if you wish). In fact, it is the relative absence of
> rules and the editors' courage to make their own "crazy" decisions that
> makes it special. The attached fragment speaks about the context
> (landscape) rather than about the journal itself.
> Hope some of these will make for not-too-demanding weekend reading. And if
> you think all this is a provocation - well, you are right. I am just doing
> what I believe is the order of the day.
> anna
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David Preiss
> Sent: Saturday, February 22, 2014 3:30 AM
> To: xmca-l@ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Public intellectuals
> Please see below in the link a clever response to Krystof's piece. It is
> still a very USA centered debate. It would be interesting to hear a bit how
> it resonates in other countries. As for Chile university profs are quite
> engaged in public debate, specially those in the social sciences. Many of
> them are more invested there than in the mainstream academic media, which
> is not necesarilly good as the connection between research and public
> discourse weakens.
> m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/02/why-is-academic-writing-so-academic.html
> Descarga la aplicación oficial de Twitter aquí
> Enviado desde mi iPhone=