New Books Network

Les Back

Academic Diary

Or Why Higher Education Still Matters

Goldsmiths 2016

New Books in British StudiesNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in EducationNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network June 23, 2016 Dave OBrien

Why does higher education still matter? In Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters, Les Back, a professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths’ College,...

Why does higher education still matter? In Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters, Les Back, a professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, offers a series of reflections framed by the time of the academic year. The first book from Goldsmiths Press, Academic Diary consists of short entries that think through the problems of university management, defend the idea of scholarship, and consider what ideas of being ‘honored’ as an academic might mean. Other chapters extol the virtues of the library and take a witty and wry look at the academy. Thus, the book, with its insights into academic life as well as broader analysis of the social forces shaping the university, offers a picture of the contemporary university, illuminating the pleasures and pains of working within this modern institution. Ultimately, Academic Diary offers a defense of the idea of the university and will be relevant and readable to anyone working or interested in the sector.


Dave OBrien is the host of New Books in Critical Theory and is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy at the Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research covers a range of areas between sociology and political science, including work on the British Civil Service, British Cultural Policy, cultural labour, and urban regeneration. His most recent books are Cultural Policy: Management, Value and Modernity in the Creative Industries and After Urban Regeneration (edited with Dr. Peter Matthews). He tweets@Drdaveobrien.