Rights, and Justice – academic

A nice clear case, view, moment :

Former Harvard student Sandra Korn thus rejects academic freedom altogether. Writing in the Harvard Crimson, she argues that “the liberal obsession with ‘academic freedom‘ should be replaced by what she calls academic justice. (Campbell & Manning, 227).

Rights (at some stage earlier in the book, I seem to remember, also discussed as due process), vs Justice – by which is meant a disintitutionalized, free-floating reference grid, specifically unmoored from the state apparatus.

Kept at bay, placed at oppositional distance here, are : Civil Rights (explicitly as mot d’ordre of another generation in the struggle for equality), freedom as mechanized, institutional exercice of liberal democracy, due process, liberalism…

Justice, contrastively built up here as : social flows and exercises of power below the radar of the liberal state, accounting for the demos. Whole question is: how you conceive it, build it, analyse it out of the historical situations, “in the plain, half-blind with dust”. Modes of, ressources for, quality of this basic political act. Accuracy of observation, and acuity of historical and social intelligence, including systemic sense of the balance of social forces and the strategic understanding, penetration (this is the speech act of political action, of Gramscian quality, or Du Bois, Ambedkar), of the physics of liberation. Des Castoriadis. Lefort, sans doute.

Justice“, as fluidity and the operation of fluidity in between possible social orders (and basis of claim for change, pivot point) : what qualities of it are imagined, shaped by events and positioning and declarations, building up to a culture – for ex. one of a generational movement -? The criterion is of a political imagination, and incisiveness (the job is to cut through and rearticulate, intercut) of critique. Signs of insufficiency are going to be moralisation, aestheticisation, privatisation, etc. Place the notion of hurt feelings here; on this scale. “Justice” : because a call to the un-political (not-yet, structurally denied, excluded…), has exactly full latitude to allow for the imagination of any un-political, under-politicized, para, depoliticization of all possible, still unimaginable forms.

Another step has to be: what scholarly work the university can take on, in this ranged horizon. Possible roles and situations of academia vis a vis the debate of justice. “Academic freedom” debates. (No mystery, as ever, historicise, discursivise.)


Citer ce billet
Claire Joubert (2022, 12 octobre). Rights, and Justice – academic. Ce que fait un angliciste. Consulté le 12 avril 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/n9y0

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