Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Know Thy Place

You may remember that I posted a piece deconstructing a job advert for A. C. Grayling's New College for the Humanities, the £18,000 per year institution staffed (now and then) by Celebrity Academics what you may have seen on TV, and by exploited, underpaid hourly staff.

Then I read this astonishingly good piece on NCH by Historian on the Edge, who is rather an academic star, unlike me.

Cue some rather unhinged abuse by Suzannah Lipscombe, who lists 'broadcaster' before 'academic' in her Twitter CV and rather sadly terms herself '@sixteenthcgirl', now one of the academic butlers to the 60 young lords and ladies who've entered the hallowed portals of NCH, and by @Happy_Glorious: not someone with a critical view of British imperialism, then. NCH will be teaching from The West and the Rest, Niall Ferguson's triumphalist, reductive and error-strewn 'history' book and TV series. So you just know that it's going to be at the cutting edge of historiography. @Happy_Glorious describes her interests as 'history and trivia'. Though a glance at her output suggests that she has trouble telling them apart.

So I'm quite glad that they think Historian, my friend @Bad_Ambassador and I are 'bigoted', 'nasty' and 'moronic', 'ludicrously uninformed', 'stupid' and incapable of 'real research' for critiquing NCH (which @Happy_Glorious describes as 'something good').

So to be clear: The New College of the Humanities is a reactionary, outdated, private-equity funded bastion of snobbery and washed-up academic approaches with TV stars on the banners and underpaid toilers in the class rooms. It is a finishing school for rich people who want their world-views reinforced rather than challenged. It deliberately excludes the knowledge-hungry poor and its imminent failure is going to be very satisfying indeed.

I wasn't going to be so rude, but they started handing out the insults first!

4 comments:

Andrew McGettigan said...

I enjoyed both these posts. For some detail on the new corporate structure at NCH, you might be interested in my research at Companies House. http://andrewmcgettigan.org/2012/09/01/nch-new-company-structure/

The Plashing Vole said...

Fascinating. Seriously good detective work. Have tweeted a link to it.

Jason R. Berg said...

What an interesting choice of adjectives by your new Twitter friend. I thought, according to the bicycle messenger their side sent around last week, that we are supposed to be now referred to as plebs from now on...

The Plashing Vole said...

There certainly seems to be a class war in progress again, fuelled by those at the top posing as victims. My heart bleeds…