Universities in Translation

The Mental Labor of Globalization (Traces 5)


Edited by Brett de Bary

ISBN : 978-962-209-992-0

Cultural Studies, Gender Studies Traces: A Multilingual Series of Cultural Theory and Translation

January 2010

408 pages, 6.5″ x 9″

  • HK$250.00

Also available in Hardback HK$450.00

In the world of English-language academic publishing, the future of the university has increasingly attracted the attention of critical theorists in the humanities. While Bill Readings in 1996 catalyzed debate on corporatization, curriculum, and pedagogy, Frank Donoghue and Marc Bousquet in 2008 have analyzed the emergence of the for-profit university and swelling ranks of contingent faculty. Yet these provocative works restrict their focus to the North American university, as if oblivious to how powerful interests of global capital have converged on the restructuring of higher education. Comparative analysis of globalization and the university has been left to educational policy experts.

This volume breaks new ground in making university reform the topic of a multilingual symposium. It takes global transformation of the university in the age of informatic capital as an urgent question for practitioners of both translation and critical theory. Prominent scholars writing from sites as dispersed as Seoul, Mérida, Paris, and Moscow address issues such as the emergence of cognitive capitalism, neo-colonialism and the hegemony of academic English, academic freedom, and the rise of new, exploitative regimes of self-management that have implicated the university in a profound reorganization of labor dissolving distinctions between the “mental” and “manual.”

Essays in the book deal with university restructuring across multiple national and disciplinary boundaries. It is unique in its symposium-style structure, which brings together critical perspectives on university reform produced by scholars from China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. The book should appeal to a general readership in the humanities, as well as to an international readership of scholars concerned about the university and the commercialization of higher education. It should appeal particularly to scholars with interests in the university, the humanities, cultural studies, comparative modernities, global studies, translation studies, and post-colonial studies.

Contributors: Gil Anidjar, Steffan Igor Ayora Diaz, Brett de Bary, Philippe Bonin, Cao Li, Eric Cheyfitz, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Helmut Dubiel, Laurent Dubreuil, Goh Byeong-Gwon, Iwasaki Minoru, Andrew Jewett, Kang Nae-hui, Daniel Won-gu Kim, Ko Mi-Sook, Dominick LaCapra, Lee Seok-Won, Lei QiLi, Risa L. Lieberwitz, Ding-tzann Lii, Ma Hongnan, Alberto Moreiras, Meaghan Morris, Yann Moulier Boutang, Helen Petrovsky, Naoki Sakai, Eric Savoth, Ukai Satoshi, Gabriela Vargas-Cetina, Gavin Walker, C. J. W.-L. Wee.

Brett de Bary is Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Cornell University.