Patricia Schor’s talk on ‘The Order of Things: Politics and Economics of (Public) Scholarship in the Netherlands’
Patricia Schor’s talk that she delivered during the Camera Interactiva Creativity Lab during the Dutch Film Festival on 23 September 2015 is now available online at the Dis/Content blog.
THE ORDER OF THINGS: POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF (PUBLIC) SCHOLARSHIP IN THE NETHERLANDS
The anthropologist and curator Nuno Porto conceives the museum as a mechanism of cultural contact, where “cultural contact is neither more nor less then to fight for the order of things.” The public sphere is the arena that hosts institutions such as museums but also academia and the media where, artefacts, be them a film, an academic essay, a theatre play, a photograph, enter this fight for the order of things. Doing and reflecting about scholarship (but also about art) is therefore a political act that entails considering the order instituted by particular power arrangements and the terms of the fight; the order which we inhabit.
Who is entitled to represent and who is the represented? Who has access to resources tofight in the public arena? Who speaks and who is spoken about?
Not running the risk of subsuming scholarship to politics, it is fundamental to self-reflect the place of the academic and the intellectual in the public sphere and to negotiate this position critically. This requires awareness towards the economy of knowledge. It is often engagedscholarly practices that overlook the economy of privilege running through society. Engagement demands vigilance and intervention on the distribution of credits around the artefact of knowledge (a talk, an essay, a book, a research).
Who is paid and who is not, who is credited and who is not, who gains social capital, perspective of jobs and grants, public exposure and accolades, and who does not?