Anna Boswell knows what precarity feels like. For now, she is a Professional Teaching Fellow in Writing Studies at the University of Auckland, and while she dreams of occupying an office fitted with a hamster wheel, she feels lucky to be making do with slivers of support offered by research awards and prizes from the Kate Edger Educational Charitable Trust, Auckland Museum and the Journal of New Zealand Literature. She talks and writes about settlement in terms of inscription, institutionality and pedagogy, and is becoming increasingly preoccupied with the (healthy) relationship of parasitism to these things.
- "Many of us have clung—perhaps credulously, in the face of compelling indications to the contrary—to the belief that university industry and enterprise haven’t solely and literally always been about ‘industry’ and ‘enterprise’, and that our work in such places is in some ways to do with teaching and social good."
- "Indeed, the principal purpose of an idea seems to be that it can be transmitted to paper which bears an ISBN number, and it’s hard to see that anyone could have time for new ideas when we’re all so busy being busy and accounting for our time and augmenting our CVs and working to secure funding for the production of more ‘knowledge’."
- "We also need to reflect hard on what we remember with, and to understand ‘anticipatory posterity’ as a matter of both survival and staged disappearance."
- "For these reasons, it seems incumbent on those of us who are trying to subsist in this particular area to seek to suspend or disturb or dislocate this unfolding history."
- "Reaching back to the twelfth century, to the outgrowth from ecclesiastical institutions of what would become the first western universities, Clark’s book charts the programmes of reform through which writing came to serve as the essential site and practice of the university."
- "It’s more an operative sense that our work might congeal something, ‘blot’-like."
- "Citational overdrive, stimulated in ever more urgent ways through ‘academic integrity’ campaigns, makes ventriloquism and assimilation legitimate and commonplace practices, and whole careers are now staked on derivation—on piggybacking on the work of others."
- "Since early modern times, university-based research has been largely ‘serial’ and ‘technical’, a matter of ‘proving diligence’: a publication dating from 1702 bears the title ‘On the Reasons Why Not Few Scholars Bring Nothing To Light’; there was a particular fad for dissertations in the piggy-backing mode between the 1670s and 1730s."
- "If the university is to assist in bringing about social futures impelled by something other than transactional determinacy, and if research is to find and say things that haven’t already been said (or to say things afresh) rather than confining itself to latter- day scholastic barbarism, trust needs to be placed in the faculty that is most sharply characterised by and devoted to creative and critical activities."
- "Working against the linear logics that it invokes, in other words, Clark’s study suggests alternative ways of diagramming the university’s lived course—through parabolic or orbital trajectories, or through cellular mutation, or through accretion and sedimentation."