Call for papers: Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life

Call for papers: Power, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life

There is little doubt that science and knowledge production are presently undergoing dramatic and multi-layered transformations accompanied by new imperatives reflecting broader socio-economic and technological developments. The unprecedented proliferation of audit cultures preoccupied with digitally mediated measurement and quantification of scholarship and the consolidation of business-driven managerialism and governance modes are commonplace in the contemporary academy. Concurrently, the ever-increasing rate of institutional change, (the need for) intensification of scientific and scholarly production/communication and diverse academic processes seem to characterize the overall acceleration of academic life (i.e., in many disciplines the new maxim ‘patent and prosper’ (Schachman) supplements the traditional ‘publish or perish’). Quantification and metrics have emerged not only as navigating instruments paradoxically exacerbating the general dynamization of academic life but also as barely questioned proxies for scientific quality, career progression and job prospects, and as parameters redrawing what it means to be/work as a scholar nowadays (i.e., the shifting parameters and patterns of academic subjectivity). Metrification now seems to be an important interface between labour and surveillance within academic life, with manifold affective implications.

This conference will inquire into the techniques of auditing and their attendant practices and effects and will also probe into scholars’ complicity in reproduction of such practices. It will consider processes of social acceleration within the academy and their implications for the management of everyday activity by those working within it. This will include:

• empirical and theoretical engagements with the acceleration of higher education
• the origins of metrification of higher education
• metrification as a form of social control
• the challenges of self-management posed by metrification and/or acceleration
• common strategic responses to these challenges
• the relationship between metrification and acceleration
• how metrification and acceleration relate to a broader social crisis

The workshop will take place from December 2nd to 4th 2015 in Prague.

Deadline for abstracts will be May 1st 2015. Please send 250 words and short biographical note to Mark Carrigan (mark@markcarrigan.net) and Filip Vostal (filip.vostal@gmail.com) by the deadline.

Keynote Speakers:

Roger Burrows – Ancient cultures of conceit reloaded

Philip Moriarty – The perils, pitfalls, and power of peer review in public

Susan Robertson – Vertigo: Time and space in the contemporary university

James Wilsdon – In numbers we trust? Reflections on the UK’s independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment

Oili-Helena Ylijoki – ‘Projectification’ and conflicting time orders in academic knowledge production

Fee

50 Euros (standard) / 25 Euros (PhD/ECR)

Registration to open in summer 2015

Venue

Hosted by Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences the event will take place in Vila Lanna, V Sadech 1, 160 00, Prague 6, Czech Republic (http://www.vila-lanna.cz/index.html)

Travel

Air: From Vaclav Havel Airport Prague take the bus no 119 to Dejvicka (which is the terminal stop). Vila Lanna is 5-6min walk from there.

Train: From Main Railway Station (Praha hlavni nadrazi, often abbreviated Praha hl. n.), take metro line C (red), change at Muzeum for line A (green) and get off at the terminal stop Dejvicka. Vila Lanna is 5-6min walk from there.

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