Arts and Humanities in Higher Education

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 1474-0222
For over a decade, practice-based research degrees in art and design have formed part of the United Kingdom research degree education portfolio, with a relatively rapid expansion in recent years. This route to the PhD still constitutes an innovative,and on occasion a disputed, form of research study and students embarking upon the practice-based doctorate find themselves in many ways undertaking pioneering work.To date there has been a dearth of empirical studies of the actual experiences of such students. This article, based upon qualitative interviews with 50 students based at 25 institutions, represents an attempt to begin to fill this lacuna. The article charts the biographical change which students undergo as they pursue their doctorates. It examines the ways in which they construct, maintain, and modify their identities whilst in the role of ‘creator/maker’, and seek to manage and combine the different modes of being required of a ‘creator’ and a researcher.
This article addresses the impetus for joining and maintaining writing groups in academe. The authors consider the motivations and purposes for organizing and forming such groups. Revealing the complexities of writing both as profession and in pursuit of the profession, they analyze their experiences as collaborative writers. They examine the delicate negotiations that accompany the organization and maintenance of writing groups. Their dialogue places writing groups into a sociocultural teaching and learning model with a constructivist epistemology, making concrete concerns expressed in the professional debate about publishing in higher education and sustaining learning.
It is argued that a primary goal of a theatrical production is the making of meaning by the audience through the vehicle of multiple media (i.e. staging, design, sound and lighting effects and so on). Effective rehearsal of these elements affords the greatest opportunity for a coherent interpretation of the text. Although individual rehearsals will by their very nature be unique, it does not follow that the characteristics of the rehearsal process cannot be identified, modelled, and applied in a range of contexts.Theatrical rehearsal practices, so often compartmentalized in the academic literature and reduced in the craft literature, are theorized in this article by reference to the rich literatures of pedagogy, educational multiple media development, and group communication. This iterative analysis will serve as a first step towards constructing a better understanding of the heuristic nature, the purposes and effective uses of rehearsal.
This research project examines classroom discussion in its relationship to reading as made visible through the practice of textual annotation. In order to develop a rich description of student reading/discussion processes, we targeted multiple undergraduate seminars at a liberal arts college as they encountered the first two Acts of Shakespeare's "King Lear". We collected triangulated data from these class sessions including targeted reading surveys, student reading annotations, naturalistic observation of real-time seminar discussion behavior, and student reflections. Our analysis of the students' annotations relies upon reading theorist Wolfgang Iser's conceptions of interpretive gap, consistency building, and individual repertoire. Our discussion considers the theoretical implications of this local, in-depth data for the broader analysis of student reading and discussion practices. (Contains 1 note.)
This article suggests that the notion of an educational "trading zone" is an analytically helpful way of describing a space in which ideas about learning and teaching are shared within and between disciplines. Drawing on our knowledge of anthropology and the Humanities, we suggest three possible reasons for the limited development of such zones within academia in the UK and US. The first is the relatively low status of education as a discipline, and its perceived dependence on individualist theories of learning drawn from psychology. The second is that disciplinary pedagogies are often deeply embedded in academic identity and practice, making engaging with an educational "trading zone" an epistemologically unfamiliar habit. A final, and more overtly political, reason is the strategic resistance of many faculty members to engaging with the new visions of teaching "professionalism" offered by "faculty development" and "training" units within universities. We end by exploring whether the emerging debate around the "scholarship of teaching and learning" might circumvent some of these barriers. (Contains 7 notes.)
Middle Eastern Studies, modern foreign languages and Islamic Studies have been recognized by the UK government as strategically important subjects in higher education. Motivated by government concerns about lack of knowledge about the Middle East and the radicalization of British Muslims, this designation has complex implications for the teaching and learning of Arabic language and Islamic Studies. Factors influencing the teaching of these disciplines in the UK are characterized by connections and disconnections which are historical, political, geographical and motivational. (Contains 4 notes.)
Utilizing approaches influenced by Foucault’s thoeries of discourse, this article identifies instances of ‘discourse-conflict’ present within the assessment of collaborative group practice in the performing arts at higher education level. It analyses the connotations of the word ‘assessment’ itself in terms of its relation to concepts of valuation and worth. It then relates this analysis to three discourses, identified as those of ‘The Academy’,‘Professional Theatre’ and ‘Art’, which it considers in terms of the ideological and ethical value systems inscribed within them, and the ways in which these are expressed through common current assessment strategies and language. The article then goes on to examine how the issues raisedhave been articulated and addressed in practice through three case studies drawn from group-based practical assessments in the School of Media, Music and Performance at the University of Salford.
This article profiles Modern Language studies in United Kingdom universities in a sometimes polemical way, drawing on the author’s experiences, insights and reflections as well as on published sources. It portrays the unique features of Modern Languages as a university discipline, and how curricula and their delivery have evolved. As national and international higher education contexts change more fundamentally and more rapidly than ever before, it seeks to draw on recent and current data to describe the impact of student choice and to identify trends, particularly with regard to the place of literature.
Universities are often enjoined to ‘get’ with the ‘real world’. In this article, Mary Evans gives an account of interpretations of literary realism in order to consider the ‘coercive realism’ of the contemporary university. The prevailing assumptions that universities must contribute to the ‘real’ world are damaging the complexity of the process of learning and the idea of ‘knowledge’ that underpins it.
Humanities-based speakers and delegates to the European Commission conference on "Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe: New Challenges, New Opportunities" gathered at the end of the meeting to develop a proactive Humanities special interest group. The result was a round-table conference organized by the Humanities Higher Education Research Group, the international group based in and supported by the Open University's Institute of Educational Technology, to which senior humanities scholars and members of the European Community (EC) Working Party on Future Priorities for the Humanities were invited. This article provides a brief overview of these discussions, which developed around two issues: (1) What should be said to Europe about the Humanities and what they can offer?; and (2) What "are" the distinguishing features of the Humanities? A major conclusion of the conference was to propose to the EC that the question of what distinguishes the Humanities should itself be a research strand earmarked for support. (Contains 1 note.)
The experiences of students taking the same courses in the humanities by distance learning were compared when tutorial support was provided conventionally (using limited face-to-face sessions with some contact by telephone and email) or online (using a combination of computer-mediated conferencing and email). The Course Experience Questionnaire and the Revised Approaches to Studying Inventory were administered in a postal survey to 1264 students taking two different courses with the UK Open University. There were no significant differences between the students who received face-to-face tuition and those who received online tuition either in their perceptions of the academic quality of their courses or in the approaches to studying that they adopted on those courses. Provided that tutors and students receive appropriate training and support, course designers in the humanities can be confident about introducing online forms of tutorial support in campus-based or distance education.
Arguing that globalization has been conceived of largely in economic terms this article examines the possibility of a global curriculum in the light of Touraine's assertion that the major global problem is not economic but social: can we live together? I argue that a global curriculum conceived in social terms is possible and that it will involve: (a) the inclusion of currently "subjugated knowledges"; (b) the ability to cross cultural boundaries within and between societies; and (c) a commitment to development as freedom. Such a curriculum would be a recognition of the need to rescue society and personality from the ravages of global markets through education.
Postcolonial theory remains part of the challenge of literary theory to curriculum development. As the author's personal history suggests, it is more than simply another way of reading and interpretation, but enables an engagement with, a bearing witness to, the gross inequalities of the world today. Drama is a good examle, evidenced by the production and impact of Athol Fugard's work - introduced as a set text for the first time in an Open University course, whiule becoming part of the author's published research. The positive response to Fugard made possible the inclusion of substantial new areas of literature in a modern literature course coinciding with the global changes of the late 1980s, in turn aiding the inclusion of postcolonal writings and theory in the departmental curriculum and raising awareness of issues outside the students' immediate experience. The texts studied demand an understanding beyond merely formal or 'close' critical readings, and it is the teacher's responsibility to be alive to the claims of contemporary history and politics.
Recently, Derrida has pointed to the university to come and the future of the professions within a place of resistance, and yet maintained the historical link to two ideas that mediate and condition both the humanities and the performative structure of acts of profession: human rights and crimes against humanity. Derrida (2001a) maintains that the 'modern university should be unconditional', by which he means that it should have the 'freedom' to assert, to question, to profess, and to 'say everything' in the manner of a literary fiction. This article reviews what Derrida calls 'the future of the profession or the university without conditions'. Second, it focuses on a series of criticisms raised by Richard Rorty against Derrida's concept of literature and on Derrida's status as a 'private ironist'. Third, the article examines Derrida in relation to the ends of literature and the university, under the impact of globalization and new technologies of communication. Finally, in a postscript the article returns to the concept of the university and its postcolonial possibilities.
All real classrooms are saturated in the fictional narratives about education from TV and movies that swirl about thickly and persistently in western culture, yet the influence that these fictions exert on real teachers and real students is seldom examined. This article argues that since these fictional narratives nearly always deal in recycled stereotypes of both students and teachers, and that since they seldom receive critical attention, the influence they exert on real teachers and real students is to mislead, confuse, and impoverish their evaluations of and expectations about the nature of genuine education.
We, now colleagues, look to our “first” collective encounter with Deleuze and Guattari that took place in a university course on poststructuralism, where one of us was the teacher and three were students. This encounter still disturbs us. And new and different encounters happen each time we reread A Thousand Plateaus, revisit our previous conversations, and/or rewrite this manuscript. Each encounter produces a new trail(ing). We follow some of these trail(ing)s and write this manuscript as an invitation for other students and teachers not to rush to understanding. We find great possibility comes from (re)encountering these readings that leave us confused, distressed, and/or scared, because these readings and the (re)encounters that follow also leave us open to new possible intra-actions and be(com)ings with/in the world.
Teaching is an art that is deeply informed by both values and experiences. The craft of teaching is often a continuous discovery of a better understanding and critically, a reflection of students’ learning. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) provides the knowledge and a set of practices to advance both teaching and learning processes in the classroom. In SoTL in Action, scholars of various academic disciplines make an attempt to answer numerous questions that range from what the key moments of successful teaching are such as the way in which teachers-scholars can plan, design, and implement SoTL projects. Based on procedural vignettes, it helps to analyse and reflect on key steps and critical points that obscure, frustrate, or sometimes puzzle most of the practitioners. By breaking down the process via various examples and bringing forth a vital moment of research, the book inspires teacher-scholars in the arts and humanities who want to reflect on their own teaching from the perspective of their students, question their assumptions, and make them visible.
This article details the journey of a Theatre and Performance team working in Australian higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using reflective practice informed by Social Constructivism, we addressed the dilemmas of building and shifting an online community of learners. Act One considers the unknown as we shifted online, and the new year gave way to a semester of developing solutions for teaching theatre in isolated learning environments. This focused on: peer-to-peer communication; group tasks in solo formats; and mechanisms for support. Act Two details the shift back into face-to-face collaborative learning environments focusing on artistic voice and flexible collaboration. How does one re-establish an ensemble while recognizing potential traumatic experiences? We developed effective pedagogical strategies in response to the crisis and pre-existing fault lines within a theatre curriculum. As the world recovers, we must recognize that the journey taken must inform future practice.
Both the loss of prestige caused to mainstream economics by the global financial crisis and the resurgence of heterodox economics have proved to be superficial. ‘Where it counts’ (in the teaching of economics, in the most important policy circles, and in the most prestigious journals) neoliberal economics has proven resilient to dissent. Political dissent at South Africa’s self-imposed structural adjustment programme peaked in 2007 at the ANC’s elective conference and has subsequently lost impetus. Heterodox economics, although providing a more compelling account of the post-apartheid period, has for the most part been unable to penetrate the neoliberal bubble. This state of affairs is partly due to power relations, but it is also a function of the kind of economics that is regarded in the profession as ‘state of the art’.
The article considers the current position of research in the Humanities in the light of social changes and in particular changes in verbal and visual literacy. The author suggests that the two weakest areas in the Humanities, Literary Studies and Foreign Language Studies, need to rethink themselves increasingly in terms of rigour following the success stories in other areas of the Humanities such as Classics, History, and Film and Media Studies. The importance of interdisciplinarity is emphasized and in an increasingly fragmented world the need for students to have a range of skills and breadth of knowledge is outlined. In conclusion, despite the need for some areas in the Humanities to rethink themselves and move beyond their current complacent position, the author is optimistic for the Humanities in the future.
This issue of Arts and Humanities in Higher Education focuses on innovative initiatives which are emerging in different Latin-American university contexts as well as a few other experiments in traditionally established universities. Sometimes these initiatives are newly created higher education institutions that are rooted inside indigenous regions, in other cases conventional universities start to “interculturalize” their student population, their teaching staff, or even their curricular contents and methods. Despite certain criticisms, community leaders frequently claim and celebrate the appearance of these new higher education opportunities as part of a strategy of empowering ethnic actors of indigenous or afro-descendant origin. After an interview to Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Laura Selene Mateos Cortés, and Gunther Dietz, analyze the different ways in which the Mexican intercultural education subsystem conceives “interculturalidad.” The next article, by Guillermo Williamson, also “expresses interculturality polyphonically from the Latin-American perspective” and reports “the nature and condition of the academic reflection on interculturality carried out in universities, in supposedly intercultural contexts.” Then, Carlos Octavio Sandoval brings the focus back to Mexico and the Intercultural University of Veracruz; in the article that follows, Isabel Dulfano explores the relationship between antiglobalization, counterhegemonic discourse, and indigenous feminist alternative knowledge production. She bases her article on the autoethnographic writing of some Indigenous feminists from Latin America that questions the assumptions and presuppositions of Western development models and globalization, while asserting an identity as contemporary Indigenous activist academic women. Christine D. Beaule and Benito Quintana’s article adds to the topic of this special issue with the argument of interdisciplinarity bringing together both an archaeological and anthropological perspectives of indigeneity to the higher education classroom. And finally, Catherine Manathunga focuses on the issue of intercultural doctoral supervision.
Integration of music in an academic university teaching setting is an example of how artistic practice and competences have potentials to resonate beyond the immediate discipline. The article explores music activities as contributing to learning environments for university students, creating shared experiences in groups of diverse learners with different needs. The music activities are discussed in light of challenges in today's university concerning student diversity. Two empirical examples of experiments with music in university teaching at a Danish university are presented. Empirical data were collected by means of qualitative research methods (teaching logs and qualitative surveys) and analysed in a socio-cultural learning perspective. The first empirical example presents music as supporting students relate to each other in the classroom. The second example describes how music may support students' sensory awareness when practising qualitative research like fieldwork. Both examples imply interdisciplinary potentials of putting music into play in university pedagogy.
It is widely accepted that the academic job market is very limited and unlikely to expand any time soon, yet enrolments in PhDs continue to rise. If the PhD is no longer preparation for academia, where do these graduates go on completing their degrees? This study of Australian PhD graduates in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) explores motivations to undertake a research degree, their experiences of academia, and their current employment. These personalised narratives reveal the impact and value of doctoral education on the employment trajectories of HASS PhD graduates in non-academic careers. These stories uncover both the ‘cruel optimism’ and positive employment outcomes experienced by HASS doctorate holders. It is argued that commencing PhD candidates should be encouraged from the outset to seriously consider their doctorate as preparation for careers beyond academia; rather than being ‘failed academics,’ these graduates succeed as high-level knowledge workers.
This essay offers a broad look at the way critique as a mode, method, and attitude in post-war art history research and teaching intersects with occurrences of critique in humanities scholarship and teaching generally, but also how distorted forms of critique occur in contexts outside the academic field. The essay outlines concerns raised by humanities scholars with what they consider to be an over-reliance on critique as a negative skill, resulting in scholarship that tears down without building up, and self-satisfied debunking of anything that does not stand up to the current era’s identity politics. The essay argues that the question of critique is of particular urgency to the field of contemporary art. Here critique is embedded in the material studied—artworks, artistic practices, and discourses—and therefore in dire need of being understood, challenged, and decentered as a method.
This article notes that while there is a large literature lamenting increasing assaults on academic freedom, there is little literature to address ways in which it might be preserved. Sampling that writing, it finds some concern with protecting academic freedom in extreme scenarios, via discrete programmes, and generalised dissidence, but no discussion of determinate action applicable to all Arts and Humanities research. Defining academic freedom via the UK’s legal framework and elaboration in Judith Butler’s writing, the article inventorises significant assaults in recent times, noting the roles of government and the market in such. Following the literature review, it proposes a new, interventionist tactic for preserving academic freedom, suggesting that undue constraints should be annotated when research is written up, and that this space should also be used to suggest constructive alternatives. This strategy is demonstrated as the article acknowledges some of the constraints on its own production and suggests redress.
This article is an autoethnographic account of my journey from theatre stage manager to academic stage manager. Performing arts education and training in Higher Education is a diverse field, ranging from small private institutions to large research lead universities. Professional practitioners (performers, stage managers, technicians, designers, directors, etc.) are sought by all types of institution to share their expertise in teaching, yet find themselves working in a world that is familiar (the theatre) but at the same time alien (the academy). Those who make a successful transition find a way to reconcile these contrasting worlds. I hope, through this paper, to contribute to discussion of the challenges this transition entails through critical reflection and contextualisation of my personal journey.
Higgins J (2013) Academic freedom in a democratic South Africa. Essays and interviews on higher education and the humanities. Johannesburg, South Africa: Wits University Press.
This lecture argues that the politicisation and instrumentalisation of the university caused by neoliberal frames has as a result the depoliticisation of knowledge and of the academic as individual. This depoliticisation has turned academic freedom into a right to disengage not only from the political fight around these issues but also from the deliberation about knowledge. The lecture uses the thinking of Arendt and Bourdieu to propose a different approach to the conceptualisation and practice of academic freedom.
American higher education has always articulated a civic mission as part of its purpose: colleges and universities educate students for life in a democratic society and provide that society with citizens who ensure that it thrives in turn. This essay maps the development of a national infrastructure for civic learning and engagement in American higher education, with a focus on the mid-1980s onward, when—after a period of relative eclipse—this work gained new coherence and momentum. Beginning with that moment of eclipse, when an intensified and professionalized research mission threatened to overshadow higher education’s civic commitments, we adumbrate briefly the countermovements that allowed the civic mission of colleges and universities to reassert itself. We then discuss the civic engagement networks that have emerged over the past three decades, and more recent partnerships and projects that have expanded understanding of higher education’s civic commitment in the 21st century.
This paper investigates how eight academic research supervisors working in a Faculty of Arts at a research-intensive Australian university understand the notion of creativity in doctoral writing; both in relation to what it is and where it is found. This question was investigated qualitatively through interviews focusing on reader reception to three, short doctoral texts. A framework of indexicality and orientation (Lillis, 2008) was then used to move beyond the text-level and focus on the contextual influences surrounding the writing as it was exposed to its critical readership. The findings reflect varying levels of awareness and receptivity to the presence of creativity in written doctoral work. The paper also explores the perceived location of creativity in these texts for academic readers; namely, whether it resides in the ideas (i.e., the creative thought/content) or whether it was more textually-based (i.e., the creative expression/form of the idea).
This review article considers the work of John Higgins on academic freedom. It reveals that Higgins offers an account that eschews any fundamental relation between academic freedom and the market. Rather, he offers a more nuanced view that takes academic freedom out of the academy and into a wider political and social domain, while simultaneously avoiding the trap of offering a transcendent or metaphysical ‘idea’ of academic freedom. This depends upon what Higgins calls ‘critical literacy’, which requires that we develop an understanding of specific issues textually, theoretically, and historically. In this way, Higgins attends to historically specific occasions when social freedom is under threat, and demonstrates how our freedoms within the academy can intervene to redeem that social freedom and extend it. The piece argues that academic freedom is more than merely academic, but social and political.
The limits of academic freedom are disputed in South African contexts, as elsewhere. The recent Rhodes Must Fall movement has given voice to demands to reinterpret the very idea of the university, as well as to redefine what academic freedom entails. The arguments made in John Higgins’s book Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa, published before these recent events started unfolding, reveal the ruptures and continuities in the debates in South Africa. Rhodes Must Fall has implications for academic institutions in the UK, as student solidarity with movements in South Africa has raised these issues on UK campuses. Discussions around academic freedom and the future of universities in South Africa can thus be illuminating for similar discussions in the UK, and serve as a counter-example of the possible debates around access, value and worth.
This paper briefly examines the epistemic orientation of the Politics discipline in South Africa, and specifically in ‘formerly white universities’. The focus is to expose the disparity between this epistemic orientation and the South African locale that it finds itself in; that is, a locale whose history is different from its ‘imperial center’, yet is diagnosed and measured in accordance with instruments defined by this very same center. To break with the hegemony of this episteme, I suggest, not only is it essential to have Black thinkers take their place in the South African academic community, but to develop a more African-based curriculum that responds, adequately, to South African and Continental problems.
This short paper argues that the #RhodesMustFall movement, which originated at the University of Cape Town, has brought renewed attention to the need to decolonise the academy in South Africa. It further argues that the Humanities are ideally placed to engage with the intellectual problems and questions presented by the decolonisation debate. Deep understanding of these questions are necessary to prevent more of the same ‘techno-bureaucratic fixes’, which, until now, have left South Africa’s universities largely untransformed. While seeking change, however, scholars should avoid performing what Tack and Yang call ‘moves to innocence’ – strategies that distract or deflect attention away from conversations about decolonisation to assuage White guilt.
Following a global trend in humanities since the mid-1970s, South African humanities faculties began to include formal programmes in gender and sexualities studies from the mid-1990s on. While the immediate post-flag democratic era encouraged intellectual concentration on diverse questions of power and knowledge, the new century saw a decline in academics’ critical interest in questions of gender, race and class. This article explores the seeming ‘disappearance’ of humanities-based and rigorous debate which assumes the value of feminisms.
Despite the plethora of research on widening participation in the last 20 years, access to the arts and humanities has remained relatively under-explored, especially in relation to the preparedness of adult learners. This article reports a case study investigating the impact of an arts and languages Access module at the UK Open University. Findings from interviews with 37 Access students were analysed in relation to four themes: the need for Access preparation; generic studentship skills; discipline-specific skills; intrinsic enjoyment and interdisciplinary study. We conclude embedded generic skills enhance learner confidence and time management, while academic literacy skills relevant to the arts and humanities enhance cultural capital and enable disadvantaged learners to access challenging disciplines. The impact of a preparatory arts and humanities module extends into the lives of individual students, suggesting a counter-narrative to the prevailing, ‘economic value’ paradigms of higher education policymakers.
Changing environment requires not just creativity, but disruptive creativity. The traditional planning paradigm within business organizations heavily relies on long- and short-term forecasting in order to predict the future and plan accordingly. However, a large share of business development is now characterized by rapid changes, inconsistency and unpredictability. Taking that into account a key task for managers is to explore and innovate in chaotic conditions, but how can owner–managers, business leaders and the employees respond to such rapid changes without the appropriate skillset and educational background? This study calls for the modernization of enterprise education systems in order to provide students and graduates with tools relevant to the changing requirements of the business environment. We argue that such needed mastery of unconventional innovative thinking and acting “as if” rather have a lot in common with art education concepts and theatrical skills. Using videography as an example, we illustrate how advances in digital technology can help incorporate such theatrical concepts into enterprise education. As a contribution we provide insights and falsifiable propositions toward a renewal and revitalization of enterprise education pedagogy.
This paper discusses the pedagogical responses of the Wits University Cultural Policy and Management Department to the needs of our students in the postcolonial context of South Africa. It reviews the challenges experienced by our postgraduate students and the resultant innovations in both curriculum design and learning and teaching practice. While in many respects the drivers for this programme are similar to those in the Global North, the key challenges posed by our location on the African continent and indeed made prominent more recently in the #FeesMustFall movement are that the concepts, theories and case studies we draw from are specific to and rooted in the African context and reality. Preparing students for work as managers in cultural organisations has increasingly given way to engaging as activists and strategists with the policy environment for the cultural economy and to thinking strategically about the intersection between culture, creativity and the economy.
This article theorises the process of adapting my research on intercultural communication for public performance in collaboration with a theatre company. I frame the collaboration as taking place within a hospitable institutional space (Phipps and Barnett, 2007) and then consider what it means to enact hospitality interpersonally, given that the condition of its possibility is at the same time the condition of its impossibility (Derrida, 2000). I suggest that the enactment of hospitality can be understood through the application of an intercultural theoretical framework based on Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1986) concept of outsideness, and that this framework can be applied to both the collaboration with the theatre company and to the purposes of public engagement with research. I conclude with a consideration of the relationship between hospitality and hope, and a call to move towards a ‘condition of possibility’ (Gibson-Graham, 2008) for working as academics, for interdisciplinary collaboration, and for living.
Lecture outline for undergraduate module on Adele's 25 album.
This study seeks to investigate aspects of the relationship between the core academic activities of teaching and research in higher education, through a theoretically enriched discussion of the design of an innovative popular music module on Adele’s 25 album and its delivery to first-year undergraduates on a general-purpose music degree during the academic years 2015–21. Drawing on autoethnographic approaches, it contemplates the challenges associated with the execution of a module on genuinely contemporary topics, outlining the case for the importance of ensuring that university curricula remain up-to-the-minute as well as exploring strategies by which to realise this aspiration in the absence of a body of academic literature that might ordinarily have provided strong foundations for the content of such teaching. These lines of inquiry lead to consideration of broader questions concerning the evolving relationship between teaching and research in light of the substantial changes that have taken place within the UK higher education sector in recent years, as well as the possibilities for teaching-led research, developed exclusively for and in the academic classroom, as an alternative to the more traditional research-led teaching.
Seamus Heaney talked of poetry's responsibility to represent the ‘bloody miracle’, the ‘terrible beauty’ of atrocity; to create ‘something adequate’. This article asks, what is adequate to the burning and eating of a nun and the murderous gang rape and evisceration of a medical student? It considers Njabulo Ndebele's answer: the retelling of the story in the service of ‘love and politics’, and that of the South African playwright, Yael Farber, who workshopped and then performed experiences of terrible, disfiguring violence against women. It asks what Humanities disciplinary writing would be ‘something adequate’: something that raises ‘critical consciousness’ in the terms Heaney claimed in his Nobel Lecture ‘Crediting Poetry’, that illuminates and appreciates rather than contributes to an anaesthetising ‘culture of suspicion’, that re-presents adequate – discipline-specific, singular, particular, poetic – truth.
The purpose of this interview is to discuss the aims, objectives and achievements of a pioneering European masters degree – in the context of the politics of higher education and the economics of the creative industries.
SAGE 2019
The paper about the conditions for breaking the didactic status quo, the text based on the analysis of deficits and perspectives of study programmes in cultural and creative industries, when confronted with a dynamic professional cultural scene in Poland. // The first objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the curricula offered by Polish higher education institutions aimed at future workers in the culture and creative sectors. Desk research is supplemented by a qualitative analysis of students’ needs on professional education and the perception of cultural labour in Poland, and concluding remarks attempt to provide a preliminary response to the key expectations and gaps highlighted in the reported analysis. The paper argues that to sustain the trends of growth and to support the professionalisation of managing cultural and creative initiatives, higher education institutions in Poland have to develop a more explicit balance between pure cultural studies and cultural management education approaches. The breakthrough achievements require support from a parallel breakthrough – formation tools that adapt alternative methods from organisation studies. // The paper is a part of the volume that is dedicated to the memory our late colleagues, Dr Anna Upchurch (1957–2016) and Dr Lorraine Lim (1980–2017), both of whom attended the symposium from which this Special Issue emerged (Prato, September 2016), and both of whom were to make valuable contributions.
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