Will our v-c continue resisting decades of social progress by refusing to give casual staff the sick leave they deserve?

Times Higher Education, 23 November, 2017. A contribution to the collective article 'Tossing and turning: what keeps university staff awake'? Read the original here. What keeps me awake at night is the thing that stops me getting to bed in the first place – work. Everyone knows that there just aren’t enough hours in the… Continue reading Will our v-c continue resisting decades of social progress by refusing to give casual staff the sick leave they deserve?

Roz Ward, Barry Spurr And What Universities Are For

New Matilda, 9 June 2016. Read the original here. When for any reason… the administrator of [a university] attempts to dislodge a professor because of his political or religious sentiments, at that moment the institution has ceased to be a university. So affirmed the University of Chicago’s first president in 1892. Going on recent experience,… Continue reading Roz Ward, Barry Spurr And What Universities Are For

BDS creates the conditions for a real dialogue

The Australian, 26 July 2017. Originally published under the headline 'BDS encourages Israel to enter into a two-state dialogue', which misrepresented my position. Read the original here. A major national conference on the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign for Palestine will be held at the University of Sydney this week. Predictably, the conference has been… Continue reading BDS creates the conditions for a real dialogue

Academics, the humanities and the enclosure of knowledge: the worm in the fruit

Australian Universities' Review 58:2 (2016) 33-41. Read the original here. Download a pdf here. My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. – 1Kings 14 The Biblical Rehoboam’s promise to his subjects distils the same shocking… Continue reading Academics, the humanities and the enclosure of knowledge: the worm in the fruit

A question of academic freedom

Jacobin, 31 July 2017. Read the original here. Many academics have objected to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel on the grounds that it violates academic freedom — an accusation that has been remarkably successful in gaining traction.Zionists denounce those who would disrespect the “free flow of ideas within the international scholarly… Continue reading A question of academic freedom

Why ‘racist’ John Howard doesn’t deserve an honorary doctorate

Linda Connor and Nick Riemer. Sydney Morning Herald, September 29 2016. Read the original here. Sydney University's choice to award an honorary doctorate to John Howard is a decision to celebrate racism, bigotry and militarism. The award is unjustifiable in an institution claiming to serve the public good that says it is committed to rigorous… Continue reading Why ‘racist’ John Howard doesn’t deserve an honorary doctorate

Diversity, linguistics and domination: how linguistic theory can feed a kind of politics most linguists would oppose

History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences, 11 May 2016. Read the original here. What connections might linguists’ professional activities have to politics? Most recently, the question has been posed by the collective self-dismissal of the Lingua board and the journal’s metamorphosis into the open-access Glossa – a welcome attempt to break the monopoly of… Continue reading Diversity, linguistics and domination: how linguistic theory can feed a kind of politics most linguists would oppose

University deregulation

Arena magazine 134, February-March 2015. Read the original here. Another parliamentary term, another broadside against the shaky foundations of the Australian welfare state. Following its humiliations over Medicare and the travesty of the Philip knighthood, there would seem to be few other measures left for the government to stake its credibility on than its plans… Continue reading University deregulation

Disruptive or productive? Two sides of the protest coin

The Australian, April 22, 2015 Last week, the University of Sydney announced formal misconduct allegations against academic Jake Lynch and five students after a campus protest in March ­interrupted an advocate for the ­Israel Defence Forces. Let’s leave aside the particulars of the allegations, the case is important because it raises vexed questions about universities’… Continue reading Disruptive or productive? Two sides of the protest coin

The battle to save our universities is now

New Matilda, October 28 2014. Read the original here. ‘When one sees how people behave when they are all alone,’ noted Gorky in My Universities, ‘they appear to be insane.’ Insanity isn’t one of the obvious traits of the tiny coterie of Australian Vice-Chancellors. But given the broader political context, VCs’ support for university fee… Continue reading The battle to save our universities is now