Knowledge Economy: The Commodification of Knowledge and Information in the Academic System
Tomas R. Giberson, Ph.D. Oakland University, Michigan
Gregory A. Giberson, Ph.D. Salisbury University, Maryland
We are seeking proposals for papers to be included in an edited collection investigating the various ways the academic economy drives the purposes, processes, and outcomes valued from Academics, individually and collectively. We suggest that our behavior as academics is governed not only by our dedication to our individual disciplines and our specific specialties but also is influenced and often determined by varying professional, intellectual, social, and political factors. These factors differ by the size, prominence, and mission of our individual institutions, our tenure status, as well as the expectations of our colleagues, students, administrators, and local communities. The competing and often contradictory demands placed upon us are often at odds with the traditional notions of liberal education that persist as traditional performative façade, an idealization of the academy existing primarily in the lore, rituals, and mission statements of most colleges and universities but not always in the products faculty are expected to produce. As Jean François Lyotard observed in The Postmodern Condition, "The question (overt or implied) now asked by the professionalist student, the State, or institutions of higher education is no longer 'Is it true?' but 'What use is it?" (51) Indeed, the "value" of higher education has taken on new meaning, which often contradicts its traditional goals: critical and intellectual development, and civic engagement.
Members of all disciplines are invited to share thoughts, observations, and experiences in each of the three traditional areas of academic work: teaching, scholarship, and service. We also encourage submissions that address the implications of the meta economy-the interaction of these three areas on individual and systemic behavior. Historically, these three areas of the academic "job" are thought of as responsibilities defined in job descriptions and position postings. However, teaching, scholarship, and service have become commodities-outcomes that enable academics to advance their careers and achieve prominence among peers and administrators, who bestow the ultimate commodity for individual faculty members, tenure and promotion. As commodities, these become not the production of individual scholars and teachers, but units of value to be held, traded, and bargained with by universities, corporations, publishers, and degree holders to promote, trade, and sell.
Examples of questions that may be addressed include, but are not limited to:
- How has the commodification of knowledge influenced the research you engage in and the scholarship you produce?
- How is your behavior as a scholar influenced by the "number" and/or "quality" of publications required for tenure?
- How is your scholarly production consumed by the university and other institutions and individuals and how does that influence you as a professional academic?
- How has the increasing pressure to secure external funding through grants and the like impacted what and how you conduct research and scholarly inquiry?
- How does the pressure of publication affect the pedagogy within graduate and undergraduate education?
- How does/did your perception of the professional implications of student evaluations influence your teaching in pursuit of tenure?
- How has your teaching been affected by the expectations of students, peers, and administrators?
- How are your teaching strategies influenced by the number of classes/students you teach in a given semester?
- How is your pedagogy influenced by the mission of your institution?
- How has your teaching been influenced by other external factors, local or otherwise?
- How do service requirements influence your work as a teacher and/or scholar?
- How are service requirements for faculty accounted for in terms of tenure and promotion by the institution?
- How do service requirements influence your behavior in productive and non-productive committees?
- How do service commitments on the part of untenured faculty affect their bid for tenure?
- How are the actions of your institution influenced by national rankings in teaching and research?
- How do federal, state, institutional, and unit-level budgets affect your behavior as an academic?
- How has the academic economy forced you to compromise your personal and professional goals?
- How have increasing expectations for productivity and assessment across generations influenced your relationship with other faculty?
Given the sensitivity of the topics addressed, we will accept submissions from authors who prefer their work to be published anonymously, particularly for aubmissions from untenured faculty. However, your submission must include a brief description of your institution, department, and your placement within the tenure process, along with reasons why using your name with your submission would cause problems. We hope that tenured faculty will want their names attached to their submission.
We are seeking proposals of 500 words or less for chapters between 3,000 and 7,000 words. We welcome submissions from faculty, administrators and staff. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2006.
For questions or to submit a proposal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Giberson, Ph.D.
Director of Freshman Composition
Director of the Eastern Shore Writing Project
Department of English
Friday, March 31, 2006
CFP: Knowledge Economy: The Commodification of Knowledge and Information in the Academic System
Received this through the CFP mailing list. It looks like an interesting project and would, I think, benefit from an international perspective.