Flinders Investigators l Professor Tara Brabazon - 15 March 2017

Flinders Investigators is a free public lecture series bringing the University's world-leading research to the wider community.

On Wednesday 15 March, Professor Tara Brabazon - Dean of Graduate Research at Flinders University - will deliver a Flinders Investigators lecture on Did the internet kill our universities?

Professor Tara Brabazon is Dean of Graduate Research and Professor of Cultural Studies at Flinders, Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) and Director of the Popular Culture Collective. She has worked in nine universities in four countries, holding research professorships in media, creative media, communication and education. She is the author of 17 books and over 150 refereed articles and book chapters, and is a columnist for the Times Higher Education. Her best known books include the Digital Hemlock trilogy (Digital Hemlock: internet education and the poisoning of teaching, The University of Google and Digital Dieting), Enabling University: (dis)ability, impairment and higher education, Thinking Popular Culture: war, writing and terrorism, Unique Urbanity: renewal, regeneration and decay, and From Revolution to Revelation: Generation X, popular memory, cultural studies.

Tara has won six teaching awards, including the National Teaching Award for the Humanities, along with other awards for disability education, cultural studies and doctoral supervision. In recognition of community engagement, Tara was a finalist for Australian of the Year and Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 2005. An awarded speaker, she had delivered hundreds of speeches around the world to business leaders, professional organizations and community groups.

Higher Education scholars have proclaimed the decline of the sector for two decades. Indeed, when John Henry Newman published The Idea of the University in 1858, he was already summoning the nostalgic education of his youth in the 1820s.  Reflections, commentary and research on higher education face the subsidence of nostalgia. Yet by 2011, when Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa published Academically Adrift:  Limited Learning on College Campuses, the result of their research confirmed that fifty percent of students in their sample had not enrolled in a single course that required more than twenty pages of writing in a semester and forty pages of reading per week. 

My lecture does not pit the rise of corporate universities against the decline of liberal education. Instead I explore the perfect storm of widening participation, a casualized workforce, textbookification, Wikipediafication, digitization, disintermediation and deterritorialization. In combination, these forces have shaken and shattered the project, purpose, meaning and trajectory of higher education. 

The internet has allowed content to be delivered to generations of students. The question for academics and citizens is how our expectations of learning, teaching, knowledge and information literacy have transformed in response to a new content delivery system. My lecture answers this question. I do not wallow in nostalgia for a system we have lost. Instead, I activate the complex realities for higher education through the Global Financial Crisis, Brexit and Trump’s victory.

Join us at Victoria Square on 15 March to hear from Professor Tara Brabazon.



- Did the internet kill our universities? (collapse)

Wed, 15 Mar 2017
05:30PM - 07:00PM
All day:
Flinders University Victoria Square, Level 1, Room 1, 182 Victoria Square, ADELAIDE, SA, 5000, Australia

  • International students
  • General public
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Researchers
  • Future students
  • Alumni
  • Donors
  • Teachers
  • High school students
  • Recent graduates
  • Government Departments & Agencies
  • Professionals
  • Academics
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