Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226109220 Published November 2007
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780226109213 Published January 2006
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Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University

William Clark

Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University

William Clark

576 pages | 50 halftones, 20 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2006
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226109220 Published November 2007
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780226109213 Published January 2006
E-book $10.00 to $34.99 About E-books ISBN: 9780226109237 Published November 2008
Tracing the transformation of early modern academics into modern researchers from the Renaissance to Romanticism, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University uses the history of the university and reframes the "Protestant Ethic" to reconsider the conditions of knowledge production in the modern world.

William Clark argues that the research university—which originated in German Protestant lands and spread globally in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—developed in response to market forces and bureaucracy, producing a new kind of academic whose goal was to establish originality and achieve fame through publication. With an astonishing wealth of research, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University investigates the origins and evolving fixtures of academic life: the lecture catalogue, the library catalog, the grading system, the conduct of oral and written exams, the roles of conversation and the writing of research papers in seminars, the writing and oral defense of the doctoral dissertation, the ethos of "lecturing with applause" and "publish or perish," and the role of reviews and rumor. This is a grand, ambitious book that should be required reading for every academic.
1. Charisma and Rationalization
Part One - Tradition, Rationalization, Charisma
On the Dominion of the Author and the Legible
2. The Lecture Catalogue
3. The Lecture and the Disputation
4. The Examination
5. The Research Seminar
6. The Doctor of Philosophy
7. The Appointment of a Professor
8. The Library Catalogue
Part Two - Narrative, Conversation, Reputation
On the Ineluctability of the Voice and the Oral
9. Academic Babble and Ministerial Machinations
10. Ministerial Hearing and Academic Commodification
11. Academic Voices and the Ghost in the Machine
12. The Research University and Beyond
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4
Appendix 5
Appendix 6
Illustration Credits

Review Quotes
Peter Galison, Harvard University

“We are used to thinking of academic structures and pomp as ‘traditional,’ a throwback to an unspecified earlier time—maybe antiquity, maybe more recent. By contrast, William Clark gives the material and sociological bricks of the ivory tower historical specificity and by doing so takes the university apart. How do the category and comportment of the modern professor come into being? Are researchers heroes? Are they gentlemen? Are they bureaucrats? Robes and disputations, exams, and architecture: all grist for Clark’s mill. In this historical dissection of the university, Clark has created a world that is at once very erudite and immensely funny, an imaginative and beautifully researched step beyond the schematics of Bourdieu’s classic Homo Academicus. Anyone who wants to understand how universities got to be the way they are should grab this book off the shelf.”

Michael Hagner, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

“William Clark is an incredibly original and sensible traveler through the history of German academia. The book is a marvel in its combination of stupendous scholarship and enjoyable reading. After all, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University is like a mirror that shows us academics numerous characteristics of ourselves and our institutions, details we usually ignore.”

Nick Jardine, University of Cambridge

“This magisterial book offers a compelling new account of the origins of the research-based university. Drawing on an astonishing wealth of sources, it explores in fascinating detail the transformations of university life from the Reformation to the Romantic era. This will be required reading for historians of European culture and for all academics curious about their origins.”

College & Research Libraries News
"An enlightening look at what disputations, examinations, research seminars, appointments, advanced degrees, and scholarship represented in a bygone era, this volume is a challenging but worthy read."
Sheldon Rothblatt | American Scientist
"In almost any way that one can imagine, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University is an astonishing book. . . . Many times the prose is purposefully funny and anything but dryasdust academic writing. No summary can do justice to a book so relentless in analysis and so rich in original source material. . . . It is astonishing in style voice, structure, method, conception, breadth and learning. . . . This is a brilliant book. The styles and methods may be recognizable, but the whole is daringly new, exciting and disturbing."
Anthony Grafton | New Yorker
"[Clark] makes his case with analytic shrewdness, an exuberant love of archival anecdote, and a wry sense of humor. It’s hard to resist a writer who begins by noting, ’Befitting the subject, this is an odd book.’"
Anthony Smith | Times Higher Education Supplement
"An anthropology of university life. . . .an analysis of the academic self. [Clark] tells us how academics became who and what they are."
"Focusing on changes between the 1770s and the 1830s, Clark offers detailed accounts of lecture and seminar formats, grading systems, the conduct of examinations, the doctoral dissertation, library catalogs, and the appointment of professors. He argues that traditional academic customs and practices were transformed by market forces and competition among the small states of 18thcentury Germany. To reap the benefits of having prestigious universities and scholars, bureaucrats established criteria for monitoring classroom diligence and publication productivity. This wideranging, thought-provoking book will reward anyone interested in the origins and early evolution of modern Homo academius and its environment."

Robert N. Matuozzi | Libraries and the Cultural Record
"Clark has written a readable and thoroughly researched account of crucial changes in the medieval university that resulted in the modern academy. He describes these shifts with humor and insight, illuminating traditions and rituals that would otherwise remain lost in time."
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