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Rikke Toft Nørgård

Culture and the University: Education, Ecology, Design

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportBookpeer-review

The matter of culture and the university has been long neglected and is overdue for attention. The basic intention behind this book is, therefore, twofold: to restore culture to its proper place as a foundational concept within, and so seek cultural purpose(s) for, the university; and to identify ways in which the university might enhance the wider culture of society. We seek nothing less than a cultural turn, both in understanding the university and in the design of universities’ missions and their connections with the world.

In policies, practices and the literature, in and around universities and higher education, culture has been a topic - perhaps the topic - that dare not express its name. However, issues of culture are finding their way onto campuses, through culture wars, large global issues of injustice and ideology, and a recognition that many of the challenges of the world are cultural. Culture is not a peripheral matter but is affected by the world and has profound impacts on the world. Culture hovers between oppression and liberation; between structure and agency; and between ontology and imagination.

Many little and self-preserving cultures are to be found in universities. The question is whether a larger and more generous culture - a meta-culture even - can be found to do justice to the university and help in orienting universities in the twenty-first century. The options proposed here include matters of ecology, placefulness and design, and within the context of the whole Earth.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication statusSubmitted - Aug 2021

    Research areas

  • Culture, University, Higher Education, Society, Culture wars, Earth, Ecology, Design, Cultural purpose

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