Beyond the Neo-Liberal University: The R.O.S.I. Website Project and the Liberation of our General Intellect

Joel Lazarus

Abstract


The struggle to liberate our common powers of creation - our ‘general intellect’ – transcends the university. This struggle requires the development of ‘hybrid’ (combined online and offline) pedagogical technologies that empower us to democratise or re-common the ownership, means, and the objectives of knowledge production. In this paper, I describe the R.O.S.I. Website Project (Reviving Our Sociological Imaginations) – an experimental pedagogical project run at the University of Warwick in 2016 in which ten undergraduate students were invited to co-design a website that could help its users to cultivate their sociological imaginations – that essential ability to situate our personal problems within their social and historical contexts. This experience leads me to consider the politics of possibility within and beyond the neoliberal university today. Whilst everyday micro-practices of collective freedom can undermine neoliberalism within, our emancipatory objectives may demand macro-practices – the establishment of alternative commons-based institutions beyond the neoliberal university.

 


Keywords


Critical Pedagogy; Marxism; Higher Education; Knowledge; University Education

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education