Publisher: Napier University
In this paper, I offer a critical exploration of the distributed university, which considers a number of perspectives drawn from educational practice and developments, such as the Collège Internationale de Philosophie, the Copenhagen Free University and the multi-institutional Academy project (Rogoff, 2007). Theoretical considerations gleaned from these seminal educational projects act as a lens through which to consider the potential of the distributed university, which is informed by my own institution, the University of the Highlands and Islands. In the course of the paper I will ask: Where on earth is the University of the Highlands and Islands? And does our geographical dispersal offer new ways of thinking ‘university’? The writing is informed by my working life within the university, and aspects of the text present my own future thinking, rather than the corporate or institutional perspective of the university itself. I will reflect on experiences in the delivery of studio learning to remote and distance learners at Moray School of Art in terms of the university refigured as transversity – the distributed institution. With this in mind, I will also ask if we can consider our studios and other spaces for learning and teaching outside of the context of what has been described as the “normalising academy” (Berry, Heise, Jakobsen, & Slater, 2002). Crucial to understanding the potential of this radically different formulation of the university is the need to think beyond institutional boundaries, beyond the architechtonics of power at play in the traditional university and to embrace the idea of the leaky insitution which meshes with the life of the region.
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- Berry, J., Heise, H., Jakobsen, J., & Slater, H. (2002). You forgot to put your hair on. Variant,15. Retrieved 20 February 2015 from http://www.variant.org.uk/15texts/CFU.html
- Davey, N. (2003). The subject as dialogical fiction. In C. B. Grant (Ed.), Rethinking communicative interactions: New interdisciplinary horizons (pp. 53-67). Amsterdam and Philadelphia PA: John Benjamins Publishing.
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