University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars > Postmodernity, Performativity and the Death of Knowledge: Assessing Research and Researchers in Contemporary Universities

Postmodernity, Performativity and the Death of Knowledge: Assessing Research and Researchers in Contemporary Universities

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One of the distinguishing features of postmodernity is an obsession with ‘performance’ in the educational sphere. This is particularly evident in universities, where the logic of performativity has become a dominant feature of contemporary academic life. This paper focuses on one example of this logic at work: the development of performance-based research funding schemes. Drawing on the work of Jean-Françios Lyotard, and paying particular but not exclusive attention to the New Zealand context, I explore some of the ontological, epistemological and ethical implications of such schemes.

Peter Roberts is Professor of Education at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. His primary areas of scholarship are philosophy of education and educational policy studies. He has published widely in international journals. He is the author or editor of ten books, the most recent of which include Paulo Freire in the 21st Century: Education, Dialogue, and Transformation (2010), The Virtues of Openness: Education, Science, and Scholarship in the Digital Age, with Michael Peters (2011), and From West to East and Back Again: An Educational Reading of Hermann Hesse’s Later Work (2012). Professor Roberts is Director of the Educational Theory, Policy and Practice Research Hub at the University of Canterbury, and Vice-President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia. In 2010 he was a Canterbury Fellow at the University of Oxford, and in 2012 he has been an inaugural Rutherford Visiting Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge.

This talk is part of the Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars series.

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