Posted: April 21, 2017 in Academy, Politics
Tags: ,

… one implication of this analysis is the need to continue to politicise and activate struggles against managerialism, and not always to subordinate those struggles to the more traditional ones of defending jobs, pay and pensions. I realise this might sound glib, when those traditional economic supports are under attack in so many places. but I think it is actually a crucial point: for the most part, labour struggles in most of the world have paid very little attention to the problem of managerialism except when this has become bound up with and subordinated to a struggle against austerity measures; and in almost all cases, struggles against managerialism have taken the form of defences of traditional professional privileges. This will not suffice. Managerialism must be opposed because it is one of the key strategies through which capital seeks to intensify exploitation of all members of a particular social field, not just public-service professionals, and it is on these terms that it should be opposed by explicit demands for more collaborative and co-operative modes of work. We should not be afraid to revisit the moment of autogestion, workers self-management and industrial democracy, of student demands for reforms more radical than a mere expansion of consumer choice in the curriculum: we’ve been told for long enough that these are anachronistic ideas which cannot work. It’s surely clear by now that these are the only ideas which might work.


Jeremy Gilbert, here.

6 June 2017 (10am–4pm)
Cardiff University, UK

Keynote Speakers

Dr Kehinde Andrews
Dr Nicola Rollock
The introduction of the Race Equality Charter Mark caused universities across the UK to reflect upon their collusion in the reproduction of race inequality in higher education. In response, universities are attempting to find ways to tackle their own racist practices. But to what extent do the academic staff tasked with addressing these issues truly understand the deep-rooted nature of racism in the academy and the effects this has on ethnic minority students’ experiences of higher education? Universities must go beyond simple ‘speech acts’ as they promote their commitment to ‘diversity’. It is not enough to merely recognise the presence of Black and ethnic minority students. Meaningful solutions to historical yet pervasive issues of race equality can only be found once the problems at hand are truly understood.

This postgraduate event engages with these issues through unpacking the deeply embedded structures and practices within the institution of higher education which work to produce and maintain racial inequality. Keynote speakers will address these problematics whilst also reflecting on their own experiences as ‘successful’ academics of colour and offer advice for how students of colour can ‘survive’ in these institutions.

Call for Papers

We invite abstracts of no more than 250 words for papers from doctoral students which discuss experiences of either witnessing or being excluded from the academy due to race. We also welcome papers which discuss stories of survival and positive tales of inclusion within higher education. In addition we welcome papers from students conducting research in this area.

Abstract submission deadline: 30 March 2017

Abstract decisions: 15 April 2017


Submit your abstract.



Now, matters are such that German universities, especially the small universities, are engaged in a most ridiculous competition for enrollments. The landlords of rooming houses in university cities celebrate the advent of the thousandth student by a festival, and they would love to celebrate Number Two Thousand by a torchlight procession. The interest in fees – and one should openly admit it – is affected by appointments in the neighboring fields that ‘draw crowds.’ And quite apart from this, the number of students enrolled is a test of qualification, which may be grasped in terms of numbers, whereas the qualification for scholarship is imponderable and, precisely with audacious innovators, often debatable – that is only natural. Almost everybody thus is affected by the suggestion of the immeasurable blessing and value of large enrollments. To say of a docent that he is a poor teacher is usually to pronounce an academic sentence of death, even if he is the foremost scholar in the world. And the question whether he is a good or a poor teacher is answered by the enrollments with which the students condescendingly honor him.

It is a fact that whether or not the students flock to a teacher is determined in large measure, larger than one would believe possible, by purely external things: temperament and even the inflection of his voice. After rather extensive experience and sober reflection, I have a deep distrust of courses that draw crowds, however unavoidable they may be. Democracy should be used only where it is in place. Scientific training, as we are held to practice it in accordance with the tradition of German universities, is the affair of an intellectual aristocracy, and we should not hide this from ourselves. To be sure, it is true that to present scientific problems in such a manner that an untutored but receptive mind can understand them and – what for us is alone decisive – can come to think about them independently is perhaps the most difficult pedagogical task of all. But whether this task is or is not realized is not decided by enrollment figures.

Weber, in 1918.

In M. Weber, H. Gerth, & C. W. Mills (Eds.), From Max Weber. New York: Oxford University Press: 133-134.

Posted: February 3, 2017 in Readings, Research, Uncategorized

Dismissing Academic Surplus: How Discursive Support for the Neoliberal Self Silences New Faculty.

Academic Labor, the Aesthetics of Management, and the Promise of Autonomous Work.

Academic Labor: Who Cares?


Image  —  Posted: December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Posted: October 19, 2016 in Brains, Media

Lego Academics.

Posted: September 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

Some of you may have heard about the restructure of Humanities at the University of Otago. Owing to a decline in student numbers, the University is claiming the Division of Humanities has a budget shortage that must be balanced by cutting staff. A number of Departments within the Division are being targeted for staff redundancies by the end of the year. See here:

The Tertiary Education Union is running a Heart Humanities campaign to support affected staff and to challenge the timeframe and scope of the cuts. Some context to this situation is the National Government’s funding of Maths and Science students at a higher rate than Humanities enrolments and the University’s budget priorities, which include spending millions on campus beautification projects and sponsoring rugby teams!

While we have strong support from within the University from staff and students, we also need public support, and in particular, support from external Universities and scholars. We have set up a petition to collate external support. Please sign & share:

For those of you on twitter & Facebook, you can add the HUMANITIES twibbon to your profile picture at

If you’re a humanities graduate and/ or have participated in research or teaching events in the Division as a visiting scholar or student, please follow our Twitter account and Tweet your support @OtagoUniTEU

University Management cares deeply about the public reputation and brand of the University. They want to make these cuts quickly and quietly and we hope to make as much noise and share as much support for our colleagues as possible.