Written in the wake of the strike action that has seen academics and students across more than sixty UK universities create new interstices and alliances against the marketization of higher education and its generalized forms of impoverishment, this parabolic article experiments with the possibility of developing a radically immanent approach to the creation and destruction of value and explores its implications for the concept and politics of evaluation at the heart of contemporary transformations in universities across the global North. In an attempt to dramatize the interstitial spaces the strike has generated, the article functions as a parable, relaying the complex value-ecology of the Joanina Library in Coimbra, Portugal, with its imperial and enlightened symbolisms and its colony of bats, as a singular story that might help us envisage some elements of what might be at stake in the immanent transvaluation of the values we generate together inside and in spite of the marketizing university. This is a parable, then, to think with what is still a collective work to be done: the collective work of living, thinking, and doing otherwise in the academic ruins.
The Bat Revolt in Values: A Parable for Living in Academic Ruins
Martin Savransky is lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Adventure of Relevance (2016), coeditor of Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures (2017), and guest editor of “Isabelle Stengers and the Dramatization of Philosophy,” a special issue of SubStance (2018).
Martin Savransky; The Bat Revolt in Values: A Parable for Living in Academic Ruins. Social Text 1 June 2019; 37 (2): 135–146. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-7371027
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