Refracted Input

Clare O’Farrell’s blog on books, TV, films, Michel Foucault, universities etc. etc.

The intellectual par excellence used to be the writer: as a universal consciousness, a free subject, he was counterpoised to those intellectuals who were merely competent instances in the service of the state or capital — technicians, magistrates, teachers. Since the time when each individual’s specific activity begun to serve as the basis for politicization, …

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O’Farrell, Clare (1996). ‘Restoring the Scholarly Balance’ Campus Review, Comment, Jan 18-24, p.8. The text below was published in Campus Review in 1996. I think 20 years on, it may be too late to save the kind of university I am referring to in this piece – that is, a university which was essentially a …

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I have put together a general – but still very select – bibliography of material on open-plan office design, which you can download as a PDF. All items have links for easy consultation. The bibliography includes the following subheadings: Academic articles on open-plan: General Academic articles on open-plan: Universities Online newspaper and magazine articles/Websites: General …

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Academic Office Space: An argument against open-plan Clare O’Farrell May 2015 This post is also available as a PDF Additional general bibliography on open-plan office design Note: all the references in this text are listed at the end of this paper with hyperlinks for easy consultation. The anxiety of our era has to do fundamentally …

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In doing research on the whole question of open-plan offices for academics, I have come across an enormous amount of material which exposes the problems across all sectors and globally of the open-plan workplace. A particularly well-titled article by Oliver Burkeman appeared in The Guardian in November 2013: Open-plan offices were devised by Satan in …

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I have been doing some research around the increasing trend towards constructing open-plan offices for academics in the UK, the USA and Australia and thought this passage from Discipline and Punish might be apposite. Open-plan office design is now widespread across all industry sectors and around the globe and universities are starting to follow suit. …

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The new Australian government has little time for what it calls the “increasingly ridiculous” research grants being allocated by the Australian Research Council. This has happened before in Australian politics and as in the previous instance the targets are humanities research. As it is, humanities research attracts only a very small percentage of overall research …

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Posted on my site michel-foucault.com Delacampagne But don’t the public expect the critic to provide them with precise assessments as to the value of a work? Foucault I don’t know whether the public do or do not expect the critic to judge works or authors. Judges were there, I think, before they were able to …

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A version of this piece was published in The Australian Higher Education Supplement on 4th April 2012 as ‘Credit where it’s due – but who deserves top billing?’ I posted this on my blog last year but have moved it up as I have made quite a few revisions. We do not characterise a ‘philosophical …

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A version of this piece was originally published as ‘Conformity blunts creativity’, The Australian. Higher Education Supplement, Dec 12, 2007. I have added a few minor tweaks to bring it more up to date. But unfortunately not a lot has changed since 2007! Up till now there have been two dominant images of the humanities and …

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