The Idea of the University and the Intellectual in the Age of the Knowledge Economy

The Idea of the University in the Age of the Knowledge Economy / The Idea of the Intellectual in the Age of the Knowledge Economy.

The advent of  a globalised knowledge economy has transformed the  conditions of  intellectual  work over the past twenty five years. These two texts examine different aspects of the situation. The first looks at the impact on the university and its research cultures, especially the humanities departments; it  is argued that   the advent of the modularised curriculum and a ‘post modern’ pedagogy  weakened  the traditional divisions of academic labour, and  helped  encourage new  forms of inter-disciplinarity required and promoted by the knowledge economy. The ‘community of scholars’ has, in turn, been increasingly transformed into an adjunct of the enterprise culture, as academics queue up to offer their services to the corporate sector. The second text  surveys  debates on the  role of the intellectual. It begins by reviewing the classical theories of Julien Benda and Antonio Gramsci, before considering the   more  recent contributions of  Martin Walser and Edward Said.  The  emergence of the post modern  intellectual  is  discussed,  as is the impact of feminism  on notions of intellectuality. The text concludes by suggesting some of the strategies which may still be possible to sustain the role of the public intellectual, as at once an independent  critical voice, and a socially engaged citizen.

Text 1 originally published in New Formations Special Issue on Intellectual Work  2005 and can be viewed here:
The Idea of the University in the Age of the Knowledge Economy

Text 2  originally published in Power and the Intellectual  Conference Proceedings University of Cairo 2005 and can be viewed here:
The idea of the Intellectual in the Age of the Knowledge Economy