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Critical University : Moving Higher Education Forward

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What way forward for the contemporary university? Critical University: Moving Higher Education Forward traverses fields in critical theory (Marcuse, Althusser), psychoanalysis (Kristeva, Freud), phenomenology (Husserl), and the philosophy of education (predominantly Freire and hooks) to analyze the direction forward for the contemporary university. Loughead's writing style is lucid and accessible, yet provocative. She aims first and foremost for a pedagogical engagement with the reader, avoiding (or explicating clearly) the specialized vocabulary of her discipline. Though this book deals with complex philosophical ideas, its goal is not to merely tease out some abstract philosophical problem, but instead to intervene and provoke new directions in the contemporary discussion of the university in crisis, and to be part of a collection of works inspiring a more just society.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 116 pages
  • 160 x 235 x 13mm | 304g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739193759
  • 9780739193754

About Tanya Loughead

Tanya Loughead is associate professor of philosophy at Canisius College.show more

Review quote

As universities become corporate institutions, where millions of students get little in the way of education but an abundance in debt, Critical University: Moving Higher Education Forward calls out the problems and provides solutions. This is a straightforward, outstanding blueprint on taking back our universities... Read this book now if you are in favor of democracy, affordable education, and critical thinking. -- Anthony J. Nocella II, Fort Lewis College This is a powerful, engaging, and timely study; a source of immense critical and practical insight because of the diverse philosophical and sociological perspectives it presents that are usually absent from the prevailing assessments of U.S. higher education today. Extending the work of Herbert Marcuse on the emancipatory nature of the humanities, Henry Giroux on critical pedagogy as a project not simply a method, and Paulo Freire's notion of cultural action for freedom, as well as that of other classical and radical theorists, Loughead champions the critical university as a site of humanist activism and creative labor, 'freedom-work' that can inspire the ingenuity and action required to advance materially toward the non-alienated character, conscience, and culture which are humanity's now eclipsed birthright. -- Charles Reitz, author of Art, Alienation, and the Humanities: A Critical Engagement with Herbert Marcuse Written with verve, cultivation, and grittiness, Critical University is a powerful contribution to the field of critical university studies as well as critical pedagogy. What is striking about Loughead's personal investment in (what she calls) freedom-work is her active refusal to separate theory from practice, head from heart, action from reflection and her unwillingness to adapt students to an insane world of pain and privation. Her passionate commitment to both a language of critique and praxis of possibility enables her students and colleagues the opportunity to live as agents and makers of history rather than as uncritical servants of history ... We will not only become better educators as a result of critically engaging Loughead's vision, but better agents of history. -- from the foreword by Peter McLarenshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Raising an Eyebrow at the University Chapter 2: Radical Teaching Chapter 3: Freedom-Work Chapter 4: Critically Thinking About What 'Critical Thinking' Is Chapter 5: Method, bell hooks, and Paulo Freire Conclusion: Critical Universityshow more

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