Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Teaching in Higher Education

For a Special Issue on

Getting Critical About Critique in Higher Education

Abstract deadline
31 May 2024

Manuscript deadline
15 October 2024

Cover image - Teaching in Higher Education

Special Issue Editor(s)

Kathy Luckett, Rhodes University
[email protected]

Ibrar Bhatt, Queen's University Belfast
[email protected]

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Getting Critical About Critique in Higher Education

Why get critical about critique?
In the 21st century, we believe we are living through an epochal shift or what, in a different historical context, Gramsci called an ‘interregnum’, as we witness its ‘morbid symptoms’ (in which the old is dying but the new cannot yet be born) (Achcar, 2022). Environmentally, we are witnessing a catastrophe, geo-politically, we are living through a series of new wars across the globe, leading to severe instability, suffering of civilians, displacement, migration and grinding poverty. The combination of new wars, climate change and the greed of global transnational corporations serve to compound the unconscionable disparities between peoples of the global North and South. In this context, the humanist, Eurocentric ideal of Man uniquely endowed with rational, moral and self-regulating powers and linked to a teleology of scientific and cultural progress, exemplified by European history, is no longer tolerated; it has been contradicted time and again by the realities of domination, violence and terror. In this context, Luckett and Bhatt (2024) propose the need for a multipolar worldview to enhance critical engagements about critique in higher education.

The need for a Special Issue
It is in this context that in 2025, Teaching in Higher Education: Critical Perspectives will celebrate its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we intend to publish a Special Issue to scrutinise and interrogate the definitions and import of terms such as ‘critical’, ‘critique’, and ‘criticality’, particularly in the context of research and praxis of teaching in higher education. In addition to its sub-title, Critical Perspectives, (added in 2017), these terms are peppered across the Aims and Scope of the journal and its guidelines for authors. However, despite its pervasiveness in higher education discourse, the meanings of the concept remain vague and implicit and often decontextualized (see Luckett and Bhatt 2024). Of greater concern is recognition of the fact that haziness around the meaning of such a key concept in higher education can function as a mechanism of exclusion and domination (Bozalek & Romano 2023, Stables 2003, Taylor et al 2023).

It is therefore urgent for a journal such as Teaching in Higher Education: Critical Perspectives to host a debate around the concept of critical, criticality or
critique; to learn what this might mean for sober self-critique and for what and how we publish going forward. We therefore ask contributors to engage with approaches that aim to foster active, ethically conscious, and socially aware critical engagements for and on teaching in higher education. These approaches should transcend the academic paradigms traditionally prevalent in our journal. This includes addressing the provocations in Luckett and Bhatt’s (2024) Point of Departure article, ‘Getting Critical about Critique’, which accompanies this Call for Submissions. This article includes a range of provocations from scholars working in higher education and beyond and is intended to elicit further debate around this question.

In this special issue we feel it imperative to draw from a wide palette of epistemic systems and perspectives. We therefore encourage submissions written from positions other than those usually published in the journal – including from different identity, socio-political, cultural, epistemological or ontological positions or loci of enunciation. We hope that contributions to the Special Issue will challenge how we frame and manage the journal and thus open up, enrich and diversify what we read, teach and publish. A key question we hope will be addressed in this Special Issue is:

How might the current planetary context, a multipolar worldview and/or associated epistemic shifts, change the meanings and import of the concept of critique for teaching and scholarly work in higher education?

Further questions or themes that could be addressed include:

  • How might a particular conceptual framework, social theory or radical epistemology shift the meaning of critique, and what might be the practical implications for teaching in higher education?
  • What might be alternative ways of re-imagining the idea of critique – and what could this mean for practices of teaching and learning?
  • What is the role of ethics, normative theories, religion, spirituality and/or values in rethinking prevailing notions and practices of teaching critical thinking?
  • How might we critically re-think and re-fashion well-used teaching practices to address a contemporary challenge or crisis (e.g. techno-cultural change, environmental crises, socio-political and epistemological challenges and refusals)?
  • What are the cognitive blocks, self-affirming discourses and ideologies, and structural and institutional constraints that might limit a journal such as Teaching in Higher Education’s capacity for self-critique and transformative action? And how could these be addressed?


Achcar, G. (2022). "Morbid Symptoms: What Did Gramsci Really Mean?" Notebooks: The Journal for Studies on Power 1(2): 379-387.

Bozalek, V. and N. Romano (2023). "Immanent and diffractive critique in scholarship and publication." Critical Studies in Teaching & Learning 11(Special Issue): 1-18.

Luckett , K. and Bhatt, I. (2024) “Getting Critical about Critique in Higher Education: Provocations on the meanings of ‘Critical Perspectives’”, Teaching in Higher Education: Critical Perspectives,

Stables, A. (2003). "From discrimination to deconstruction: four modulations of criticality in the humanities and social sciences." Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 28(6): 665-672.

Taylor, C. A., J. Cranham, S. Hewlett and H. Hogarth (2023). "Towards a more capacious, kindly, and caring criticality: A post-critical manifesto for ethical-relational-creative reviewing." Critical Studies in Teaching & Learning 11(Special Issue): 19-38.

Submission Instructions

Given the distinctive focus of this Special Issue, we are particularly interested in contributions (3,000-4,000 words) to our Points of Departure section of the journal (see here). In addition to this, we welcome submissions across various genres, including regular research articles, autoethnographic pieces, or dialogical accounts. These submissions should offer valuable insights or commentary on contemporary issues requiring further investigation, reflection, or debate. They may also challenge, critique, or provoke new thinking on established ideas, norms, or methodologies.

  • Abstracts of no more than 750 words should be submitted here by 31st May 2024.
  • Decisions on abstracts will be communicated to authors by 21st June 2024.
  • Draft full papers must be submitted through the journal’s website by 1st October 2024.
  • Criteria for PODs is here
  • Advice on submitting to TiHE here:

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article