Bill Readings wrote that the “modern” University founded by Humbolt in the beginning of 19th century had “Culture” in its center and had relation with the creation of the nation-state. In postmodern times the University became a bureaucratic institution and, instead of Culture, “Excellency” was the main reference to evaluate University. The modern University of Culture worked around ethnicity and the construction of the nation-state. The postmodern University of Excellency was a space where administrators became more important than the professors, functioning more as a corporation intended “to sell its products”; excellency was something not related to anything except “excellency itself” in a world with weaker nation-state and stronger “globalization”. Readings thought that postmodern or posthistorical University became something empty of meaning, like a kind of “University in ruins”. So, in after-postmodern times, with “the end of efficiency” and interrogation about Excellency, will the pendulum of history bring the modern University back, or something new and different is coming?
quinta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2014
segunda-feira, 10 de fevereiro de 2014
In the Introduction of The University in Ruins, Bill Readings writes that “the University no longer participates in the historical project for humanity that was the legacy of the Enlightenment: the historical project of culture”. So, he asks if it is a new beginning or an end of the social function of the University, in a kind of “postmodernity” of the University. In that way, he cites the emblematic book The Postmodern Condition, by Jean-François Lyotard, where “the question of the postmodern is a question posed to the University as much as in the University”. Readings prefer to use the word “posthistorical” rather than “postmodern” to the contemporary University, because it is an institution that keeps itself existing beyond its own historical identity. He do not agree with some kind of “more modern” University than the modern one, that could be the argument for a postmodern University.
Anyway, in the end of the 20th century Readings saw that posthistorical postmodern University in the ruins of its cultural function. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, what can we think about a “after-postmodern” University?