- In praise of doubt: Academic virtues, transnational encounters and the problem of the public
- European Journal of Cultural Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Inspired by the ‘rise of Asia’ in academia, this article explores the question of academic publics: who are we addressing in our writing and teaching? With the increasing globalisation of academic life, the global rise of the neoliberal university and, as Latour puts it, ‘critique running out of steam’ in the West, the question of academic publics becomes increasingly pressing, especially for cultural studies. This article proposes that transnational academic encounters may offer a way out of the crisis of critique and a transnational ethics of scholarly virtues, stressing the personal predispositions and concomitant practices that shape the distinct quality of academic inquiry. It highlights five main academic virtues: doubt, systematic analysis, realism, complexity and slowness. Of these five virtues, doubt (of oneself) is the central academic virtue: it should take center stage in university teaching, academic writing and in academic forays into the public and the transnational spheres.
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