❮ Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Live!

Volume 34: The University (1968)

One 1-hour lecture.

To agree on the future is the condition for having peace in the past. Now nobody in this country seems to agree on the future. And therefore, the future of the United States is shrouded in darkness and ambiguity. I’m now serious. I’m not joking.

The world of the universities has detached itself from the human future. And in this detachment, or in this abandonment into its own purposes, and its own exams, and degrees, and emoluments, and foundations, and laboratories, it may have lost the right to call itself a “university.”

—February 15, 1968

Here Rosenstock-Huessy returns to a theme he first addressed almost fifty years before, the need to reimagine the university in light of the new historical moment that followed the catastrophe of the World War. He summarizes his “dis-ease” with the modern university, seeing how its emphasis on “knowledge for its own sake” has rendered the university impotent, unable to deal with any subject in a way that might contribute to creating a newfuture for the community. He lays out in some detail how the university must change if it is to serve its true and crucial purpose.