Academia Now and Then

I am wondering if and in which way we can and have to speak of changes in the academic world.

Putting it into a question one could ask:

Can living in the academic world be compatible with working academically?

It has something religious – similar to the questions, leading to and accompanying the Reformation, criticizing the institutionalised church in order to rescue faith.

It has something ancient philosophic-economical, where we find the contrast of Oikonomia, roughly  use-value oriented and resource-respecting management of the household  and Chrematistike, roughly the exchange-value oriented money-making, money becoming as fetish a use-value.

If we are generously accepting that different sides are justified, instead of insisting on a romanticised ideal, there still remains the

cui prodest, cui bono?

To be precise, it is not just the question who benefits. Centre-stage we have to ask

Where do we find systemically and what are the leading motives?

Looking at the distribution of income within the sector of Higher Education is revealing. And understanding that this is not the only sector where power is abused is frightening. And that power is often abused not just for private benefits, but where dependents are guided into wrong directions is a disgrace …

And there are still people speaking about freedom of thought and speech? Well, we see, it is not just a matter of a finger …, it can also be about having a different approach or uncovering injustice or speaking about it. And then people hear they should think outside of the box …?

Well, there is something biblical in all this as we know from Genesis 26 ff. – still encouraging some to ask Why can’t we do what we like to do?


Sports – Urbanisation and Social Stratification

Leaving teaching and coping with life aside (well, who can say the latter is easy in a world of which modernity is not just liquid but where liquidity seems to wash away human rights on all levels – I am not writing this because I am in China!! Or perhaps I am writing it because I am here, seeing also many unexpected “white washers” coming here with their incredible “suggestions”), I am preparing the presentation for the end of this week:

The annual conference of the International Journal of the History of Sport (IJHS), taking place at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang, China during the weekend of 27 – 28 November 2015. The conference is jointly organized by the IJHS and the School of Sports at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China. The core themes are around Urbanization and Social Stratification.

Now I face the challenge to look for the key (I guess that is the meaning of key notes). And I am wondering if this is not very much about overcoming the limited understanding that remains frequently left out when talking about inclusion and also urbanisation.

  • The one aspect is that we discuss inclusion too often without (sufficiently) considering integrity as dialectical/relational issue and part and parcel of inclusion – and of course, with this we have to look also at the contradictions.
  • These may highlight, coming to the second aspect, that urbanisation is not just about space. Perhaps space is as such even the least important aspect, the multiple identities being the foundation that merges into the melting pot as which societies and parts thereof are frequently seen – but while we talk about such melting pots we still, and increasingly act along the ideas of gated communities.

Good stews need a recipe – it is not just throwing different stuff into a pot; and it is not about trying to separate them afterwards again …

Well, some desk work to be done, not allowing much exercise though …. – but such thinking is a bit like chess, and chess is sports, right?

Guess you can read at some stage about it in the International Journal of the History of Sport.