DPR8: Power and the Academy

The 8th Conference of the Discourse, Power, Resistance Series

6 – 8 April 2009
Manchester Metropolitan University , UK

Geoffrey Manton Conference Centre

Keynote speakers:
Zygmunt Bauman
Cameron McCarthy
Munira Mirza

This conference takes place in a climate of convulsive change. The new political administration in the USA is getting under way, with millions hoping for the first time in decades that world politics will really change. At the same time the global economy is sliding into a major recession with consequences no-one can predict. This is the turbulent context for a conference on power and the academy.

As the credit crunch does its pitiless work of sorting out which institutions adapt and which become extinct, conventional universities are vulnerable. This is no bad thing. A generation of frustrated researchers is ready to move on to rediscover the academy as a site of independent intellectual leadership and academics as engaged in making a difference in a changing world.

Seen this way, the academy is a global intellectual community re-empowered to create a public space for the production of new knowledge, a site for the critical exchange and contestation through which new insights and approaches are advanced. Universities and other educational institutions must find their place in this wider academy, exploiting the limitless resources of the world-wide web and shaking off the cramping image of themselves as the powerless instruments of policies no-one really believes in any more.

The conference brings together researchers, teachers and learners from within and beyond educational institutions to debate the issues of power and the academy in a changing world and to see what needs doing to make a difference.