Alif 29

The University and Its Discontents: Egyptian and Global Perspectives

Edited by Robert Switzer

This issue of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics explores how universities have always borne the task of questioning, and how the role and status of

English edition
15 July 2009
452 pp.
17X24cm
ISBN 9789774163173
For sale worldwide

$24.95

This issue of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics explores how universities have always borne the task of questioning, and how the role and status of the university itself has been put into question: the very idea of a university has been open to contestation, revision, and crisis. In today’s world, how do universities preserve their capacity for social critique and independent thought when their campuses and research facilities have been both literally and figuratively infiltrated by corporate interests and “support”? How does the tradition of the liberal arts square with today’s technically—and vocationally—minded students? How do the university’s institutions and ideals, born in Medieval cultures inspired by classical learning, fare in a world where everything, education included, is computer mediated, virtualized, globalized? What is the role of literature in this struggle for identity, given that so many writers now make universities their professional home? Original articles addressing a variety of issues from differing disciplinary and theoretical points of view are included in this volume, illuminating higher education concerns in Egypt and the rest of the world. Contributors: Steve Nimis, Sara Nimis, Henry Giroux, Steve Germic, Karyn Ball, Barbara Harlow, John Kress, Peter Cook, Bob Frodeman, Bruce Foltz, Jennifer Rowland, Magda Hasabelnaby, Bayoumi Kandil, Muhsin Mahdi, Doaa Embabi, Madiha Doss, Mohammed Abul Ghar, Ali Mabrouk, Nasr Abu Zayd, Faten Morsy, Mona Tolba, Anwar Moghith, Kamal Mougheeth, Samy Soliman.

Robert Switzer

Ferial Ghazoul is professor of English and comparative literature at the American University in Cairo.
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