Quote of the Week + More New Book Arrivals

The point of universites for Justi and other cameralists is to make students useful as future tools–servants of the state and upright citizens. If universities had merely the goal to improve citizens’ understanding and widen human knowledge, then one would need no public funding for institutions of such little benefit to the state and common good. […]

The state gets more from academics if it offers them moderate amounts of money and, as compensation, accords them largely ceremonial honors. The wise minister manages academics through their vanity. One gives them “a gracious audience, a short chat,” and if the academic is “in the list of the king’s little entourage,” this ahs greater effect than “when great sums of money go out of the treasury for the promotion of science.”

–A discussion of German 18th century Cameralists’ views on professors in William Clark Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University.

I’m reading around in the book rather than front to back. The stuff on the origins of the idea of the “professorial chair” and other trappings of academic tradition is delightful. Yes, it all really does come from somewhere. Parts of the chapter on orality made me cringe but I’m engaged enough to keep diving in elsewhere.

Other new arrivals (from a visit to the CCA bookstore)

David P. Brown, Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvisation and Architecture

and two exhibition catalogues–

Mirko Zardini, ed., Sense of the City: An Alternate Approach to Urbanism (missed the exhibit)

Giovanna Borasi, ed., Environ(ne)ment: Approaches for Tomorrow (kind of disappointing but one Philippe Rahm installation was very intriguing)