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The University and Micro-Dynamics of Institutional Life - image.jpg

The University and micro-dynamics of institutional life

The University and micro-dynamics of institutional life

Friday 14 December | University of Essex

Fifty years on from the legendary protests of 1968, and the student occupations which sought radically to contest the nature of the university, we are holding a conference to extend the questions of this moment into today’s context by exploring of the institution of the University. Recently, the emerging field of Critical University Studies has provided a discursive framework for critique of the University, and has paid particular attention to its economic status within the neoliberal market. This, and other issues such as free speech in universities and their payment of staff come to regular prominence in public discourse. We aim to contribute to these discussions by asking how large-scale structures have impacted upon the embodied and local workings of institutional life, and how such dynamics might map onto or deviate from these larger political structures. We also hope to bring new disciplinary vocabularies into dialogue with the field of Critical University Studies, highlighting in particular the following three approaches. Firstly, we welcome historical research of all kinds, and especially that of local, surprising or otherwise underrepresented areas. Secondly, we want to explore how “lived” descriptions of current experience may situate our understanding of the tensions and contentions of the contemporary moment, and welcome experiential accounts of this kind. Finally, we encourage presentations on the unconscious aspects of the University, as manifested for example in ideology and group dynamics, and we embrace psychoanalytic approaches of any description.

Keynote by Jennifer Doyle


Call for papers

Themes for discussion in papers might, for instance, include:

  • Questions of scale and methodology in University Studies
  • The experience of political activism in the University
  • Historical accounts of definitive moments in the history of the University
  • Exploration and critique of University teaching methods
  • Student/teacher relationships
  • Exploration of the relationship between the University and institutions or communities outside of it
  • Critique of the relationships between disciplines and fields within the University
  • The relationship between the University and the production of art, poetics and artistic movements
  • Views on the potential or desired future of the University as an institution
  • Accounts of the prehistory of the University
  • Exploration of the geography and architecture of universities

Please email proposals or any queries to the.university.conference@gmail.com or use the form below by September 14th.

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Terms and conditions

By registering below you are requesting a place on this training programme or selected sessions that form part of the programme. A member of the CHASE team or the workshop leader will contact you in due course to confirm that a place has been allocated to you. If you no longer require a place, please email enquiries@chase.ac.uk as soon as possible so your name can be removed from the registration list.  

If you are allocated a place but can no longer attend, please email enquiries@chase.ac.uk so that your place can be reallocated. CHASE training is free to attend and events are often oversubscribed with a waiting list. Failure to notify us of non-attendance in good time (ideally 5 days prior to the workshop/programme) means your place cannot be reallocated and may result in your access to future CHASE training being restricted.