The Power Institute Foundation for Art and Visual Culture

Ideas of the University


Edited by Terry Smith

Does the university have a future? Has the modern university failed? Is it, as Bill Readings has claimed, in ruins? The authors in this volume remain positive about the potential of universities to create the conditions of their own reinvention, by renewing themselves from within and by working in concert with the communities around them. They pose sharply critical questions about how universities are being shaped by varying degrees of internal doubt, external antipathy yet increasing public need. Addressing topics ranging from the current political crisis around Australian universities to the persistence of medieval conceptions of knowledge, they ask: what forms will the university take in postmodernity?

Samuel Weber explores the impact of globalisation and virtualisation on universities world-wide, and Gavin Brown poses the challenges for the University of Sydney. Diane Austin-Broos emphasises the importance of local knowledges, and Paul Patton the university as the site of a series of productive problems. Based on a symposium held at the University of Sydney in 1996, and containing a record of the discussion following these talks.

Paperback, black and white images.

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