I am writing to invite you to participate in the University To Come international conference, which will take place at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, on November 6th-7th 2009.
Further information can be found in the attatched Call for Papers, and on our website: www.universitytocome.pl
I'd be grateful for spreading this information among your colleagues and students.
At the brink of the new century, in the presence of an increasingly globalizing world, the Academia has to redefine its project. Classical Humboldtian or Kantian models are no longer valid nor applicable, as the world they were created in is gone. There is no turning back.
What is the future, what are the ideas for the future of the University? How can the University fit in the new world order? Should the Academia participate in the process of shaping it or just wait until it stabilizes itself? Will it become universal through transgressing traditional disciplinary boundaries, languages, paradigms and cultures it is embedded in? Is the University's role providing citizens with education and educating them in the process? Or maybe it should become high vocational school, devoted to providing specialized workforce? What kind of knowledge and skills should the University develop and pass on?
What is the place of critical thought, which Kant considered to be the most important among the University's duties? Should we – as sociologists, historians, philosophers, cultural and social scientists in general – ignore the rising crisis, clinging to our positions, or rather find a way to predict, shape and control the situation? Do we owe anything to our societies? Should the figure of the public intellectual be resurrected or remain forgotten?
If the University is in ruins – as in Bill Reading's memorable statement – then we should take into account that the whole Western culture – being a child of the Academia – is in ruins as well. When the crisis of the Academia, noticed already by Husserl, is overwhelming the West in both its economical foundations and sphere of values, should academics and intellectuals once again be the ones to take control over events? Should we rebuild the University? And if the answer is affirmative - what measures are we supposed to take?