Call for Journal Manuscript Proposals
Title: Higher Education in Neoliberal Times
Guest Editors: Gaile S. Cannella & Mirka Koro-Ljungberg
Higher education around the world is under assault from the practices and politics of neoliberalism, which have succeeded in regulating, commodifying, and restructuring the university. This we see manifest in a multiplicity of ways, including: accountability metrics; annual faculty reports; rebranding campaigns; dismantling and/or downsizing existing programs; furloughs; conservative attacks on academic freedom; conservative attacks on science; economic ties to the military-industrial-entertainment state; for-profit universities; ever-shrinking numbers of tenure-track positions; journal impact factors; research funding scores; the philosophical redefinition of the public university.
Consider, in just the last year, we have witnessed: governors of US states (such as Wisconsin, Arizona, Illinois, and Louisiana) propose slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from state funding for its university system; universities (such as the University of Illinois) engage in politically-expedient and legally dubious actions to restrict extramural political speech on the part of its faculty (see, e.g., the case of Steven Salaita); governing bodies voting to discontinue or close research centers whose work focuses on poverty and social change (see, e.g., the actions by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors); and the continued decrease in the number of tenure-track faculty positions across the spectrum in favor of adjunct professors.
More generally, the act of knowledge creation itself has become redefined within a corporate model. As Mitch Allen notes, large publishing conglomerates (e.g., Elsevier, Springer, etc.) now control a large swath of the materials we use for teaching, research, and knowledge dissemination. Knowledge (i.e., articles in journals; reports; etc.) and teaching materials are increasingly being aggregated into large databases that are bundled and sold to our university library systems and back to the customers (authors and scholars). In the same breath, the peer review system is under attack from all sides; journal impact factors and the attainment of grants continue to play inordinate roles in faculty promotion and tenure cases; and the logics of the free-market increasingly dictate research funding by federal granting agencies. In many ways, knowledge has become content (a commodity) to be sold by another form of media company to willing consumers.
In this special issue, we are thus soliciting manuscripts that help us to (re)think our way out of, and around, these practices and politics as related to the variegated assaults on higher education--to engage with the pain of understanding, the pain of hope, and the possibility that the future will be a better place for the free exchange of ideas. Further, we encourage articles that literally provide examples illustrating productive spaces of resistance within neo-liberal institutions of higher education.
Moving in multiple directions at once, we seek to consider (at least) the following as they relate to the changing practices and politics in the academy, as well as broader global debates related to academic freedom and labor:
a) The commercialization of higher education;
b) The racial and gender logics of the academy;
c) Media coverage of higher education;
d) The politics of the academy (i.e., publishing; promotion & tenure, etc.)
e) The politics of higher education (i.e., attacks on tenure; attacks on science; decreasing federal & state funding; etc.)
f) New forms of activism/protest within the academy
g) Places and spaces of productive resistance
h) Othering and exclusion in the Academy
We will consider manuscripts from within or against the inter-/anti-disciplinary divides related to the above topics, especially in terms of race, gender, social class, mass media, sport, politics, education, violence, prisons, performance, history, social work, economics, and the arts (as well as others not listed here). We encourage creativity, experimentation, and theoretical multiplicity.
More specifically we are looking for two kinds of contributions:
1) Article Manuscripts that are due by January 1, 2016, with a word length of no more than 6,000 words inclusive of references, endnotes, and so forth. Those interested in contributing articles to this special issue should also submit a 500-word abstract (including proposed title) by June 15, 2015.
2) “Escapes” that illustrate an example of productive resistance in higher education. “Escapes” can be (as examples) textual, visual, fictional, actualized, experienced, visioned, fragmented, partial, liminal examples of productive spaces. An “Escape” should illustrate a specific example/ event/vision of resistance. Escapes are due by December 1, 2015 for review, with a word length of no more than 1,000 words inclusive of references.
All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for review.