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The politics of thinking and the idea of the university as a heterotopia

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posted on 2021-05-17, 18:16 authored by Bregham DalglieshBregham Dalgliesh
Drawing on struggles between academe as a place that historically harbours critique and new public management that fosters instrumental knowledge, I reimagine the university as a counter-space for thinking. Initially, I deploy the work of Scott Lash to show how informational capitalism suffocates critique. Notwithstanding, his solution of Informationskritik resigns itself to the monism of technoculture. I therefore turn to Jacques Derrida’s idea of the university in relation to informationalisation. To ensure its autonomy, the university is supplementary to society, yet associated by its reflexivity that is on behalf of society. Finally, I invoke Michel Foucault’s notion of heterotopia, which tracks the tendency of society to instil homotopic spaces of sameness. Such a blueprint of the university as a heterotopia acts as a barometer of the critical credentials of reason that is manifest in social practices. In parallel, it carries forward Derrida’s idea for it and resuscitates a space for critical thinking.


Declaration of conflicts of interest


Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Japan

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Researcher

Lead author institution

University of Tokyo

Human Participants

  • No


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