Sciences of Academia is a joint project of all three research groups at the Minerva center. It emerged from the ongoing work of the Minerva center, including both its research activities, as well as the public-intellectual involvement and commitment of the center as a whole, and of senior and junior scholars within it.
This project aims to open new ways for reflecting on the various aspects of- and transformations in the status of the academia, knowledge and scholarship in this era. We try to consider these issues through at least three interfaces: first, the institutional relationship between the university and the state, in its historical, philosophical, and legal contexts. Second, the socio-economic relations between the academia, the market, and civil society. Third, the relationship between knowledge and different facets of the political: a critical inquiry into the political dimensions of knowledge.
We focus on the Israeli case while placing it within both the global context of our time and a wide historical context. We aim to examine the material, institutional, ideological and political conditions of knowledge production, looking into matters such as: issues of public funding alongside the privatization and commercialization of public universities; modes of employment and of obtaining funding for research; the institutional relations between universities and governments; the making and breaking of disciplinary boundaries; the processes of selecting and establishing fields of research and methodologies.
Apart from conferences and workshops, we have formed an ongoing research and writing group, Sciences of the Academia, in collaboration with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University. The group’s work is dedicated to both reading and research. In the 2014-2015 academic year the group is working towards the compilation of an edited volume of papers focusing on the civic, social, and political roles of the academia (particularly in the contemporary Israeli context, but introducing global and historical perspectives).
Academic Director: Dr. Hagar Kotef