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.
- "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’."
- "Clark does not address this directly, although in practice the sweep of his story is counteracted by tremors and convulsions that show patterns of institutional development being articulated and disarticulated by turns."
- "Among other things, however, this history raises urgent questions concerning the social benefit or social impact of research."
- "A checklist Systems of reward driven by the imperative to generate commodifiable research in accordance with the dictum ‘publish or perish’ Individual and institutional stature-seeking and grandstanding based on productivity and performance indicators such as peer-reviewed publication outputs Ever-increasing levels of disciplinary specialisation permitting ever- increasing numbers of academics to pose as innovators and so reap the symbolic benefits of ‘original’ discovery Subjugation of teaching to research activities whose focus is determined by market forces, budgetary constraints and probable return on investment The rise of modes of governance fostering conformity, calculability and competitiveness through systematising, standard setting, reporting, auditing, benchmarking and league tabling As William Clark’s Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University (2006) makes strikingly clear, leading aspects of the managerial capitalism that defines the current culture of the research university were set in place in German-speaking lands during the eighteenth century."
- "Our research practices and our writing are so thoroughly habituated and automated that we barely register the kind of template we’re filling out in each case."
- "It would be nice—and comforting—to imagine these matters are no big deal."
- "Develop research practices on our own terms, in ways that aren’t strictly subject to programming intents."
- "And pedagogy and research themselves need to appear in the work of academics and students alike, informing our activities and moving these on in ways that bind (and thus make them accountable) to their own entangled origin."
- "The contemporary ‘redefining’ of the purpose of the university, it turns out, is both prefigured and markedly consistent with earlier definitions."
- "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."