If there is one sector of society that should be cultivating deep thought in itself and others, it is academia. Yet the corporatisation of the contemporary university has sped up the clock, demanding increased speed and efficiency from faculty regardless of the consequences for education and scholarship.
In The Slow Professor, Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber discuss how adopting the principles of the Slow movement in academic life can counter this erosion of humanistic education. Focusing on the individual faculty member and his or her own professional practice, Berg and Seeber present both an analysis of the culture of speed in the academy and ways of alleviating stress while improving teaching, research, and collegiality. The Slow Professor will be a must-read for anyone in academia concerned about the frantic pace of contemporary university life.
‘Thoughtful, reflective… The best thing this book accomplishes is its unabashed encouragement to talk to our colleagues in order to increase solidarity and togetherness in the combat against changing and challenging professional environments.’
"Like slow TV, slow food and slow travel, Berg and Seeber argue that we can practice slow scholarship, by resurrecting the values of deep, reflective thinking, mindful self-awareness and playful creativity."
"Ultimately, Berg and Seeber’s book offers a vision of academia is a nurturing, relationally connected company of people seeking a deeper understanding of the world in which they live, a vision that will surely appeal to most."
"The Slow Professor is a notable attempt at recovering humane culture and attentiveness in academic life. Berg and Seeber have begun an important conversation about the philosophical basis of scholarly work; their alternative to the corporate model is a welcome intervention."
"While The Slow Professor has already raised some eyebrows as an example of "tenured privilege," it’s at once an important addition and possible antidote to the growing literature on the corporatization of the university."
‘A welcome part of a crucial conversation.’
“It’s a beguiling book, written in controlled anger at the corporatized university, overrun by administrators and marketers.”
"The fact that precarious labour is becoming the norm in the academy impacts everyone, including those with tenure."
"'Thrilling' isn't a word I often apply to books about higher education, but these pages galvanized me."
"[The Slow Professor] is a manifesto for maximizing meaningful productivity, in place of today’s hurried production of short-lived outputs."
"A real value of the book is its insistence that changes in university cultures are not about outlying individuals changing their practices alone but rather about the relationships between individuals and their struggles together to create different cultures through small acts."
‘The book is well researched, nicely written and speaks to an issue of central importance to those of us pursuing the academic life.’
"It was after a quarter century of being a professor that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber, a book that that expresses much of what I have found wanting in academic life. [It] is an enlightening commentary on the contemporary life of the university professor… [standing] as a dedicated attempt to revive a much-needed vision of the professoriate and the university."
"In 90 thrilling pages of text, Berg and Seeber describe the current corporatization of the college campus and urge professors to resist it with all they’ve got. ‘Thrilling’ isn't a word I often apply to books about higher education, but these pages galvanized me … I hope that college teachers will take time to savor The Slow Professor and talk about it with each other at faculty reading groups."
“The Slow Professor recognizes the psychological strains of academic work, but subtly points toward explicitly political responses to the emotional toxins we absorb; but, it also avoids the fate of most subject-centred therapeutic exercises which are mainly courses in adaptation and resignation. Although it is no call to arms, no manifesto, nor a shout of defiance at the authorities, for insightful readers, the next step beyond self-awareness will be obvious.”
"What Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber are doing in The Slow Professor is protesting against the "corporatization of the contemporary university", and reminding us of a kind of "good" selfishness; theirs is a self-help book that recognises the fact that an institution can only ever be as healthy as the sum of its parts."