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Prof Nuraan Davids
October 19, 2021 @ 17:3018:30Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
Professing the vulnerabilities of academic citizenship
As academics, we do not only produce and reproduce knowledge; we also produce our citizenship as a social and agonistic space. As such, academic citizenship, and the arising risk of ‘academic disengagement’, involve much more than performative compliance with tangible and measurable roles and responsibilities. There are multiple nuances embedded within and attached to academic citizenship – unqualifiable, but compelling in their production and reproduction of power dynamics, bringing into disrepute any notion of academic citizenship as a homogenous or inclusive space. There are ways of being, knowing and becoming within citizenship that might be intuitive, emotive and less readily conceivable, and hence, slip beneath the radar of scholarly scrutiny and debates. Perhaps we think it is untheoretical. Or perhaps we are unwilling to venture into who academic citizens are, rather than what they do. Regardless, we have yet to delve into how we come into the presence of each other; how we conceive of ourselves, of knowledge, and hence, society. In offering an expanded understanding of academic citizenship as alterity, I argue that academic citizenship has to involve wading into a curious uncertainty about the other so that the immensity of diversity, its unknown-ness, is brought to bear on the university, not as fear and estrangement, but as a rupture with a continuity of Othering
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Nuraan Davids is a professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Education Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University. She is an NRF-rated researcher, whose research interests include democratic citizenship education, Islamic philosophy of education and philosophy of higher education. She was a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2020–2021). She is a co-editor of the Routledge series World Issues in the Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education, a co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Education in Muslim Societies, an associate editor of the South African Journal of Higher Education and an editorial board member of Ethics and Education. She is a recipient of the NRF Research Excellence Award for Female Emerging Researcher (2015), an SU Distinguished Teacher Award (2017), the CHE/HELTASA National Excellence in Teaching and Learning Commendation (2017), an SU Research Excellence Award (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020), an SU Media Thought Leader Award (2018, 2019) and an SU Chancellor’s Award: Research (2020). Recent books (with Prof. Y. Waghid) include Academic activism in higher education: A living philosophy for social justice (Springer, 2021); Teaching, friendship & humanity (Springer, 2020); and Teachers matter: Educational philosophy and authentic learning (Rowman & Littlefield, Lexington Series, 2020).