chapter  3
24 Pages

As I lay laughing

Encountering global knowledge in Bali
WithMark Hobart

The fear that knowledge of that world might turn out more fragmented, closed and contingent than presumed in academic spin-doctors' accounts could then be allayed by focusing on how effective that knowledge could be shown to be in the globality of its reach. This chapter considers critically the implications of ways in which Europeans and Americans have imagined knowledge and set out to constitute the world accordingly. Treating knowledge as some kind of mental entity has the effect of denying the historically and culturally specific situations in which it is invoked and foreclosing reflection on the purposes, agents, subjects and objects imputed on particular occasions. In the business of marketing a knowledge which nobody owns any more, it should come as no surprise that universities have started to dispense with academics as vice-chancellors in favour of businessmen and bankers. Reconsidering knowledge as various kinds of practice has several advantages though.