Mark Amsler is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Auckland (NZ). His teaching and research includes literacy studies, critical theory, semiotics, sociolinguistics and medieval studies. He recently published Affective Literacies: Writing and Multilingualism in the Later Middle Ages, and is currently completely a book on pragmatic discourses and heterodox communities, entitled How to Do Things with Words, 1100-1500.
- "These intellectual aims, far from being disinterested, are at odds with the conception of the university as an instrument of organised capitalism and with the broad conditions of our everyday working lives."
- "We are also aware that because the present project transforming universities into market-expansive and profit- producing economic institutions accelerated after 1975, particularly in the US, UK and Australasia, the idea of the academy that we have produced within our own family has been coterminous with both its neoliberal transformation and challenges to it."
- "Can we re-think how we work, critique, produce and progress in transformative dialogues in today’s universities?"
- "In such ways, universities under organised capitalism pay lip service to serving a public or common good in their mission statements but persistently subvert aims of educating an informed citizenry, producing critical knowledge and qualified professionals, challenging and testing accepted wisdom and acting as the ‘critic and conscience’ of society."
- "In March 2013, just over half of fulltime tenured and tenure-track academic staff in NYU’s faculty of Arts and Science approved a non-binding resolution of no confidence in the University’s president John Sexton."
- "Extrapolating this logic, how might people react if we were to speak ironically about students as if they were actually commodities in the presence of administrators?"
- "Some will be more possible in particular situations than others, and all should be conceived as collective rather than individualised actions, not least because they are important sites for building relationships of understanding and solidarity in order to overcome practices that atomise, isolate and disenfranchise academics and students."
- "The imposition of larger student fees and reductions in tuition grants and living allowances, for example, means that the teacher–student relationship is explicitly founded upon a principle of commodity exchange."
- "We suggest we need to start with dialectic."
- "Organise roundtable discussions at conferences and academic meetings, especially where graduate students are present."