1st Edition

The University Unthought Notes for a Future

Edited By Debaditya Bhattacharya Copyright 2019
    298 Pages
    by Routledge India

    298 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    298 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    Why is it important to have a revolutionary critical pedagogy? What are the new inter/disciplinary engagements possible within the university? What will it be like to live and learn in this university of the future?

    Drawing on these essential questions, this volume explores the political future(s) of the university. It does not take a simplistic recourse to the tenets of liberal democracy but seeks a more engaged positioning of the university space within everyday practices of the social. It cross-examines the history of this ‘ideal’ university’s relationship with the banal everyday, the ‘apolitical’ outside and what exceeds intellectual reason, to finally question if such historicizing of the university is necessary at all.

    Along with its companion The Idea of the University: Histories and Contexts, this brave new intervention makes a compelling foray into the political future(s) of the university. It will be of interest to academics, educators and students of the social sciences and humanities, especially education. It will also be of use to policy-makers and education analysts, and be central to the concerns of any citizen.

    Introduction: What ‘Use’ is the Liberal Ruse? Debating the ‘Idea’ of the University.  Part I: Beyond Nostalgias  1. The Provocations of the Public University in Contemporary India  2. Decolonizing the University  3. The Crisis of the Public University  Part II: ‘Cultures’ of Thinking and Doing  4. The Idea of a University and the Invention of Culture in Colonial/Post-colonial India  5. Scientific Research Productivity in the Indian University Sector  6. In Search of a Scientific Public Sphere  Part III: Imagining An ‘Other’ University  7. What if, the University is a Parrot’s Training8. Academic Freedom and the Ownership of Knowledge  9. Between Disciplines and Interdisciplines: The University of In-discipline  Part IV: Drafting Manifestos for Change  10. The Commoditization of Education  11. Neoliberal Savagery and the Assault on Higher Education as a Democratic Public Sphere  12. The University in Question  13. Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy: Staking a Claim Against the Macrostructural Unconscious


    Debaditya Bhattacharya teaches literature at Kazi Nazrul University, India. He has previously taught at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, India (2010–2012), Central University of South Bihar, India (2013–2015) and Nivedita College, University of Calcutta, India (2015–2018). Debaditya’s doctoral work engaged with the relationship between literature and death, and with specific reference to the testimonial speech-act. He researches on continental philosophy, and writes on contemporary modes of political articulation as well as practices of mobilization in the Indian context. His current interests cohere around a social-economic history of higher education, with specific attention to Indian policy-contexts. He is co-editor of Sentiment, Politics, Censorship: The State of Hurt (2016).

    "The university is in crisis everywhere. Pushed by the demand for new technology-driven skills and hugely expanded aspirations for college degrees, the traditional university is being squeezed by a mercenary sector that supplies education for profit and shrinking state support. These two volumes, containing essays by a stellar list of contributors, provide the most comprehensive discussion I have seen of this crisis, particularly in India but also covering the neighbouring countries and the global scene." - Partha Chatterjee, Professor of Anthropology,Columbia University, New York, USA and Honorary Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata, India

    "These landmark volumes offer a veritable smorgasbord of deep and original thinking about the question of what a university is for. A stellar cast of essayists explores the university’s historical embeddedness in the nation-state, critiques its present imbrication with global capital, and provides a richly imagined manifesto for its future." - Niraja Gopal Jayal, Professor, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

    "This invaluable and extraordinarily thought-provoking collection offers many critical readings of not only the idea but also the ideology of the university in the global south, and especially India. It not only brings out the ‘consecration’ of nationalist and neoliberal commonsense in the university today, but also provides a vocabulary to challenge and question this consecration. One of the great pleasures of the collection is also the tension and implicit conversation between the various readings, which differ from each other, sometimes subtly and sometimes emphatically. An indispensable set of volumes for anybody concerned about the stakes of ‘higher’ education today." - Ajay Skaria, Professor, Department of History/Institute of Global Studies, University of Min