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Finding Hope in an Absurd University *

Vicente Manzano-Arrondo (Universidad de Sevilla, Spain)

Transformative Research and Higher Education

ISBN: 978-1-80117-695-8, eISBN: 978-1-80117-694-1

Publication date: 8 March 2022


It is unfortunately too easy to find examples of absurd functioning in the university. It has never been a perfect institution, because that is an impossibility. One observes in recent years that while its chronic problems have not disappeared, they have lost prominence in the face of a steamroller working at the planetary level. The university has plunged into an even greater absurdity. This institution that was created to be free and clearly work for human emancipation, through the expansion of knowledge, has chosen to submit itself as a slave to the dynamics of the current global model of society. By so doing, it further fosters slavery by strengthening this global hegemony. In the present contribution I choose three concrete examples of this absurdity. The first alludes to the recruitment and shaping of obedient teachers. In this sense, the university is not an exception to the banking system of education, but it raises the production of individual adaptation and obedience to its maximum exponential. The second example refers to the renunciation of the social usefulness of the knowledge that it produces. This is done by adopting operational models from the production of commodities, such as quality measurement and the like, which undermine the institutional mission of universities. The third great absurdity refers to the destruction of thought and language diversity, which are two sides of the same coin. While the aforementioned processes are readily noticed, there are alternatives to the absurd university that entail encouraging projects and realities under construction. My aim with this contribution is to present an analysis of the absurd university, and give visibility to these alternatives under way, linked to grassroots university movements and other hopeful socio-educational projects. This chapter has a particular focus on language, due to its complexity and relative neglect in academia.



Manzano-Arrondo, V. (2022), "Finding Hope in an Absurd University * ", Roij, A.B. (Ed.) Transformative Research and Higher Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 161-179.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Vicente Manzano-Arrondo. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited