Academic Freedom in a Democratic South Africa
How do we understand academic freedom today? Does it still have relevance in a globalreconfiguring of higher education in the interests of the economy, rather than the publicgood? And locally, is academic freedom no more than an inconvenient ideal, paid lip serviceto South Africa's Constitution as an individual right, but neglected in institutional practice?This book argues that the core content of academic freedomthe principle of supporting andextending open intellectual enquiryis essential to realizing the full public value of highereducation. John Higgins emphasizes the central role that the humanities, and the particular forms ofargument and analysis they embody, bring to this task.Each chapter embodies the particular force of a critical literacy in action, one which bringsinto play the combined force of historical inquiry, theoretical analysis, and precise attentionto the textual dynamics of all statement so as to challenge and confront the received ideas ofthe day. These provocative analyses are complemented by probing interviews with three keyfigures from the Critical Humanities: Terry Eagleton, who discusses the deforming effects ofmanagerialism in British universities, Edward W. Said, who argues for increased recognition ofthe democratizing force of the humanities, and Jakes Gerwel, who presents some of the mostrecent challenges for the realization of a humanist politics in South Africa.
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