[Debate] article on SA universities
gus.gosling at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 29 12:08:29 BST 2009
>>"Science Wars" was about a bounded group called "scientific community".
I thought it was about a bunch of (proudly) ignorant and arrogant individuals, representing `science studies', getting their bottoms kicked in a very public fashion.
What has happened to science studies? Gone to ground post-Sokal? Certainly not quite as brash as before.
From: Dominic Tweedie <dominic.tweedie at gmail.com>
To: helena.sheehan at dcu.ie
Cc: DEBATE <debate-list at fahamu.org>
Sent: Sunday, 28 June, 2009 8:49:58
Subject: Re: [Debate] article on SA universities
Your modesty is touching, but for heaven's sake, it's no good going at this topic half-throttle. You mustn't do like the British and Irish Lions did and kick for a draw. You must ruck and maul for a win! With respect, prof.
Thanks for the good links. I think we all need a bigger theory. "Science Wars" was about a bounded group called "scientific community". Now we need an equivalent epistemological theory that is extended to the entire society. This theory would trace the selection and propagation of both knowledge and of subjective determinations, through to the masses. In this theoretical framework, universities would appear potentially as heroes or villains, but always in supporting roles, and never as the main actors. It would be a "shrinking" of the universities, egotistically speaking, but a potential rebirth for them on a better, non-gatekeeping, non-bottlenecking basis that would be in touch with all of society, and so possibly much larger in numerical terms.
The theory would include the possibility and indeed necessity of a by-pass mechanism for working round the universities, like our Communist University was meant to be. It would include ways and means of preventing such a general movement of knowledge and agency from being re-expropriated by the universities and other bourgeois-style institutions, including institutions of mass media like the SABC and the Johannesburg Sunday Times.
By the way, things have changed since 2002 and to a great extent because of people like Cde Dr Blade Nzimande. I don't know why he would not greet you with a big smile and an open heart. You played a role, after all, comrade. You put a stick on the pile, as much as anybody did, and you felt the sting of the backlash, like any of us.
Really, comrade, we need your help. Please, please, please!
2009/6/27 Helena Sheehan <Helena.Sheehan at dcu.ie>
Thank you so much, Dominic, Chambi, Hanif, Mandisi, Patrick, for your stimulating
responses to my article.
Dominic, I'm glad that this article fared better than my last one (The Wire
one) with you. Perhaps you are right that it is is only a half of what I
should have written. Still I have some more years. No, I didn't speak to
YCL, ANCYL, SASCO or PYA as such, but I kept abreast of their positions and
spoke to some of their members as I encountered them. As to speaking to the
new minister for higher education, this article was written and submitted
for peer review before the election even took place. If I write on this again,
I could ask Blade to speak to me, although I wonder if he would want to do
so. Politicians became wary of me after 2002.
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