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Durham Castle / Future of the University Lecture - Professor N. Katherine Hayles

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Published on May 9, 2018

Universities are no longer the privileged site of knowledge creation and dissemination. Excellent online tutorials, such as the Kahn Academy, provide high quality open-access instruction in subjects once considered too esoteric to address except in a university classroom, such as calculus, linear algebra, and similar mathematical topics. In other practices universities, for example MIT, have made their entire course offerings available online at nominal or no charge. Still others offer MOOCs on a wide variety of topics. These developments pose significant challenges to traditional ideas of the university as a cloistered space where students came and learned about subjects they could not access otherwise.

Taking a cue from similar problems facing university presses, this talk will argue for a transformative vision of the university that positions it not as a separate enclosed space but as a busy informational crossroads in which the university clearly identifies the “value added” it provides and takes an active role not only in creating and disseminating knowledge but also in directing it toward better and more productive practices that contribute to human and planetary flourishing.

Topics will include the flipped classroom, the tragedy of the lecture hall, the importance of contributing to sustainable and environmental practices, and suggestions for engaging in interdisciplinary initiatives and developing robust modes of discourse that reach beyond scholarly communities to the general public.

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