[P2P-F] Richard Hall - Against Educational Technology in the Neoliberal University

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at uti.at
Tue Mar 17 12:37:32 CET 2015

Richard Hall - Against Educational Technology in the Neoliberal University
CAMRI Seminar
Wed, March 25, 14:00
Univ of Westminster
Harrow Campus
Room A7.01

Registration: email to christian.fuchs at uti.at


In the Grundrisse, Marx argued that the circulation of productive 
capital was “a process of transformation, a qualitative process of 
value”. As capitalists sought to overcome the barriers to this 
transformatory process, they worked to revolutionise both the means of 
production via organisational and technological change, and circulation 
time via transportation and communication changes. Reducing friction in 
the production and circulation of capital is critical to the extraction 
of surplus value, and Marx argued that in this transformation “Capital 
by its nature drives beyond every spatial barrier [and]… the 
annihilation of space by time - becomes an extraordinary necessity for it.”

Higher education is increasingly a space which is being recalibrated so 
as to increase the mobility or fluidity of intellectual production and 
circulation. Thus, technology, technical services and techniques are 
deployed to collapse the interfaces between space and time, and to 
subsume academic labour inside processes for valorisation.

However, this collapse also reveals the stresses and strains of 
antagonisms, as the friction of neoliberal higher education reform 
deforms existing cultures and histories. Through such a deformation, it 
also reminds us of alternative historical and material re-imaginings and 
alternatives like the Chilean CyberSyn project, the Ecuadorian National 
Plan for Good Living, the Hornsey Experiment, and so on.

This presentation argues that inside the University, the deployment of 
technologies, technical services and techniques enables education and 
academic labour to be co-opted for value-production. As a result, 
academics and students are defined as entrepreneurial subjects with 
limited power-to produce a world beyond value. A question is the extent 
to which pedagogical and transitional alternatives might be described, 
and whether in the process it is possible to uncover ways in which 
education might be used for co-operation rather than competition, as a 
form of resistance.

Richard Hall is Professor of Education and Technology at De Montfort 
University, Leicester, UK. At DMU he is Head of Enhancing Learning 
through Technology and leads the Centre for Pedagogic Research. Richard 
is a National Teaching Fellow and a co-operator at the Social Science 
Centre in Lincoln, UK. He writes about life in higher education at: 

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