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Introduction


that it came back to life. Kat has a PhD in sociology but also she is a filmmaker and a professional digital designer. She immediately understood the idea and could envision the project. She gave her time to realising it with out pay and whatever value there is in this book is owed to Kat. I am indebted to her beyond measure and calculation. She embodies the intellectual virtues of curiosity, openness, dynamism and creativity that I have tried to argue for in this book and I am eternally grateful for her generosity. The project is entirely self-funded and made possible by the support of colleagues and friends who just thought it seemed like an interesting idea. I would also like to thank sound artist and sociologist Karla Berrens for providing the soundtrack. I should also offer a note of thanks to Anna Reeve and Emily Saltz who both offered invaluable advice and also Hiroki Ogarasawa, Emma Jackson, Aisha Phoenix, Charlotte Bates, Jane Offerman, Pat Caplan, Max Farrar, Paul Gilroy, Trudi Kent, Vron Ware, Sue Wright, Alex Rhys-Taylor, Alberto Toscano, Sireita Mullings and Steve Hanson for reading early drafts. Thanks also to Judith Barratt for her critical insights and also to Avery Gordon's imaginative suggestions that helped me find solutions to them. I'd also like to thank Caedmon Mullin at Big Pebbles Media for ironing out the technical problems concerning the design of the site and its operation. I want to offer a few words of guidance about how to read this book. It has two levels. The first is organised as a generic academic cycle that I have already described. You can find your way through

 


these entries by its calendar or sort them thematically according to the topics addressed in each piece. The second level called 'torn out pages' are hidden and accessed by clicking the tags. These entries are time specific and need to be set in the particular moment they were written. Like collected notes these entries are analogous to the quotations and literary curiosities collected and stuffed into our diaries between the pages.

I wanted it to be open access and a kind of compendium of the things that I have found useful shared very often through the experience of others. I have tried to write with as much honesty as I can muster, reflecting on my failings and mistakes as well as actions and judgments I'd stand by. Many of the diary entries were written in 'down time,' during holidays, in the cracks of the day and sometimes late at night. They are so many conversations with myself about how to live a good life in the university. I hope there is something in these pages that resonates with the experience of other people in Higher Education.

The completion of this project coincided in Britain in 2010 with the announcement of stringent educational cuts, effective privatisation and what to many is the end of the public university. It is more important now in the face of these events to reflect on what kind of universities we want to argue for and the values that we will not compromise. In these reflections on campus life a larger argument is made for the value of thinking and why university education still matters.

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