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Imagining the future of the university: The language of globalism and the persistence of local grammars

CHEF Talk with Hans Schildermans

Info about event


Thursday 31 March 2022,  at 15:00 - 16:00


Online (Zoom)



Speaker: Hans Schildermans works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Education of University of Vienna. He is the author of Experiments in Decolonizing the University. Towards an Ecology of Study (Bloomsbury, 2021). His research concerns how different ideas of the university have been enacted historically under the influence of alternative imaginations of social and technical futures.

Abstract: Nowadays, several actors lay claim on the how the future of the university is being imagined (e.g., European Commission, UNESCO, OECD). More often than not, these imaginations are being articulated within the language of globalism that seems to assume the existence of an isomorphic global higher education space. The globalist view of university education takes for granted a kind of wholeness that symbolically incorporates individual institutions into a global system and thereby tends to neglect the particular histories of these institutions and the relations of conquest and colonization that brought many of these institutions into being. Therefore, there seems to be a discrepancy between the globalist imagination of the university and the realities of local grammars of university education. In this CHEF-Talk I will present my current research project that based on comparative-historical case work delves into the past futures of the university to analyze how in particular historical milieus various conceptions of the university and its future have been affirmed, negotiated, or resisted and how new ‘ideas’ of the university have been enacted, often on a very practical and a very local level.

Chair: Professor Susan Wright, Co-Director of CHEF, Aarhus University, Denmark

Time: March 31st, 2022 at 15.00-16.00 Central European Time (CET)

Place: A Zoom-link will be shared with the participants closer to the event