Talk: Thomas Docherty – Can The University Survive?
- Thu 21 Mar 2019
- 6:00 pm
You are invited to a talk and discussion which will examine the future of universities and the market forces that surround our system of higher education.
The university is under threat. For forty years this indispensable democratic institution has been systematically betrayed by governments and the political class, who have redirected it from its proper social and cultural functions through a relentless programme of financialisation.
Taking his cue from Julien Benda’s classic polemical essay, Thomas Docherty, author of ‘The New Treason of the Intellectuals‘, exposes the forces behind modern university ‘reform’. He demonstrates that the sector has been politicised and now works explicitly to advance a market-fundamentalist ideology that drives an ever-widening wedge between ordinary citizens and the privileged and wealthy. Against this, the intellectual and the university have an urgent duty to extend democracy and social justice.
Looking to the future, Docherty concludes the book with seven hypotheses towards a manifesto and calls on intellectuals everywhere to assist in the survival of the species.
Thomas Docherty is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick. He will discuss the issues raised in his book with Andrew Biswell, Professor of Modern Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University.
‘Docherty’s uncompromising account of how the University has been betrayed and diminished by the totalitarianism of market fundamentalism should be essential reading for anyone interested in the fate of higher education. He gives an impassioned and powerful defence of intellectual work and its significance.’ Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London
Docherty’s book is an elegant and powerful defence of the university as a space of free inquiry, a space that is increasingly circumscribed. Most worrying is academics’ choice of a comfortable life and the rewards of office over the rigours and unease of the academic vocation.’ John Holmwood, Professor of Sociology, University of Nottingham