Toward scholarly collectivities?

Authors: Jennifer Brewer*, University of New Hampshire
Topics: Higher Education, Careers and professional development, Social Theory
Keywords: academic engagement, activism
Session Type: Interactive Short Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon A1, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Like any social change process, decolonization of our discipline requires strategic investments across multiple fronts. Some activities focus on research, including questions of theory and research design. Others involve teaching content and pedagogical approaches. Yet others are most concerned with service and public engagement, both in terms of our objectives and our associated relationships. Some of these decolonization efforts may be largely cerebral and readily accrue academic rewards. Others require that we invest in the less glamorous work of community organizing, that we sacrifice personal professional advancement for more collective and less remunerative goals. Ultimately, our institutions can only be transformed if challenged by those who find themselves in marginalized and oppositional positions and those who have found approbation and formalized positions of power. They will respond most readily to coalitions constructed through the identification of shared interests across groups of prospective change agents, including administrators, tenured and contingent faculty, other knowledge workers, and students. Critical junctures for reform include student recruitment and mentorship, pedagogical norms, and faculty hiring, tenure, and promotion criteria. Such change demands both vision and pragmatism, including support from above and impetus from below. The intensifying pressures of neoliberalization pose additional challenges, but perhaps also moments of opportunity.

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