Archive for April 8, 2014

Call for contributions to book on “Mass Intellectuality: The democratisation of higher education”

This is a final call for contributions to a book on “Mass Intellectuality: The democratisation of higher education” that Joss Winn and I are pulling together. More details are available here.

The book aims to provide international critiques and accounts of the crisis in higher education, with a focus on the creation of alternative forms. Its premise is that globally, higher education is increasingly unaffordable, its historic institutions are becoming untenable, and their purpose is resolutely instrumental. What and who have led us to this crisis? What are the alternatives? To whom do we look for leadership in revealing those alternatives?

The book’s starting point is that mass higher education is at the point where it no longer reflects the needs, capacities and long-term interests of society. An alternative role and purpose is required, based upon ‘mass intellectuality’ or the real possibility of democracy in learning and the production of knowledge.

We welcome anyone who is involved with and/or working on alternative higher education projects such as free universities, transnational collectives, occupied spaces, and co-operatives for higher education to contribute to the book. We also welcome those who are working inside the University to provide critical analyses of recent and existing efforts to develop alternatives to mainstream higher education.

If you would like to contribute to the book, please email Joss Winn at as soon as possible. We will then be in-touch about submitting an abstract connected to intellectual leadership in higher education by 10 May.

NOTE: whilst Joss and I both work in UK higher education, we would welcome a range of voices in the development of the book. International, critical engagements with intellectual leadership are central to this project.

The Pararchive Project

The project which aims to co-produce digital resources that will have long-lasting and wide-reaching consequences for the way we exchange ideas, tell stories and communicate.


Pararchive: Open Access Community Storytelling and the Digital Archive is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and will run from 1st October 2013 to 31st March 2015, when the Pararchive resource will be launched.

The project is based at the Institute of Communications Studies (ICS), University of Leeds. It is part of the AHRC’s Connected Communities theme, and has been funded under the Digital Transformations in Community Research Co-Production in the Arts and Humanities. Pararchive includes a range of community partners – all with their own pages here – plus our tech team, Carbon Imagineering, the Universities of Leeds and York, the Science Museum group and the BBC.

You can also follow our story via Twitter at @pararchive and Facebook too.  So, join in the conversation and spread the word!

Find out more about the project here.

Developing community content

The suite of projects funded under the JISC’s Community Content call are aimed firstly at creating and enhance digital content collections by developing the engagement between content owners in the universities and specific, or general, groups of the external public. Secondly, they are intended to develop more strategic co-ordination within the universities, focusing on the relationship between digital collection curators and business and community engagement teams.

Community Content – The Background

A significant point of overlap between JISC Business and Community Engagement and eContent programmes is in the development of community collections, where digital content is created, co-created or enhanced by audiences from outside traditional tertiary education boundaries

There have been two major impetuses that have contributed to the growth of such collections. Firstly, the development of web2.0 technologies, which has offered content publishers a flexible system for interacting with a wide range of users, who evolve as both consumers and creators of digital data.

Secondly, institutions are actively developing their external engagement mission, and seeing the advantages in developing meaningful relationships with businesses, public sector partners and community groups.

Developing community content