Stephen Turner teaches in the English Department at Auckland University. He writes and talks about migrancy, metropolitanism and the constitution of Aotearoa New Zealand. He is interested in ‘untenable objects’, which should not but do exist, which invoke care and courage, and which give us pause and prompt questions about the everyday and what we value. He also writes and talks with Sean Sturm on learning, writing and the university.
- "As Ronald Barnett argues, ‘a university that takes seriously both the world’s interconnectedness and the university’s interconnectedness with the world’ is ecological, a university that ‘does not merely take its networking seriously but engages actively with the world in order to bring about a better world.'"
- "What is this world I find myself in?"
- "Possibilism, as Albert Hirschman writes, ‘consists in the discovery of paths, however narrow, leading to an outcome that appears to be foreclosed on the basis of probabilistic [or positivistic] reasoning alone.'"
- "To us, this normative drive is better understood as econometrically determined programming, or prescription, whereby the measure of performance itself determines what counts, for example, as innovation, or, to put it another way, knowledge creation becomes knowledge management."
- "Instead of simply executing and extending such scripts, we ask after their rationales."
- "For us, this asking after grounds is what a university does or, rather, ought to do."
- "To find ourselves in this position suggests a double occupation, whereby Europeanisation, or more specifically, Anglosphericism, has had to accommodate itself to an already differently occupied place and its larger Oceanic setting."
- "We are not in Europe now, or rather, the ‘Europe’ we occupy is the powerful penumbra of a differently centred place, a place called Aotearoa (‘The [land of the] long white cloud,’ namely, New Zealand), located in a ‘sea of islands,’ Te Moana nui a Kiwa (‘The great ocean of Kiwa,’ namely, the Pacific Ocean)."
- "The university is thus failing in its true mission if it does not prompt conversation about matters of local public and political import, that is, if it does not pose problems for language—and business—as usual (the public is itself constructed as the voice of contest and context in this conversation)."
- "In the first instance, the making of rules may have involved making the most of an accident: a tree that provides shelter becomes a house; a rock that serves to cut becomes a tool."