Last month, the Salford Star covered the plight of Professor James Newell, who was sacked from the University of Salford for, basically, not chasing research money (see previous articles – click here and click here).
What happened to Professor Newell is part of a growing trend for financialisation and marketisation in higher education, which is exposed in Thomas Docherty's book The New Treason of the Intellectuals.
Thomas Docherty is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick, and the International Anthony Burgess Foundation is hosting a talk by him at its Manchester centre on Thursday 27th September, raising issues with Andrew Biswell, Professor of Modern Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University.
"Taking his cue from Julien Benda's classic polemical essay of 1927, Thomas Docherty...exposes the forces behind modern university 'reform'" states the Foundation "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" it adds "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..."
Are intellectuals these days just dusty and gutless, or can they rise to the task of keeping universities for educating and knowledge? And can universities be stopped on the road to reinventing themselves as profit farms?
This talk/discussion should be well stimulating for students, lecturers and anyone else who values education...because, as Anthony Burgess himself wrote in A Clockwork Orange, "The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities..."
Thomas Docherty: 'Can The University Survive?'
Thursday 27th September 6pm-8pm
International Anthony Burgess Foundation
3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY
The event is free but to guarantee a place register in advance – click here
For more details of this event and the work of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation see the website – click here