critical university studies


Here are a few references on the contemporary uni:

Aavik, K. (2017), ‘Doing Neoliberalism on Campus: The Vulnerability of Gender Equality Mechanisms in Estonian Academia’, Gender in/and the Neoliberal University: Transnational Processes and Localised Impacts Gender na neoliberální univerzitě: transnacionální procesy a jejich lokální dopady

Aspromourgos, T. (2012), ‘The managerialist university: an economic interpretation’, Australian Universities’ Review, 54: 2, pp. 44-49.

Avis, J. (2003), ‘Re-thinking trust in a performative culture: the case of education’, Journal of Education Policy, 18: 3, pp. 315-332.

Ball, S. (2004), ‘Performativities and fabrications in the education economy: towards the performative society’, in S. Ball (ed.), The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in Sociology of Education, London: RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 143-155.

Ball, S. (2012), ‘Performativity, commodification and commitment: An I-spy guide to the neoliberal university’, British Journal of Educational Studies601, pp. 17-28.

Barcan, R. (2013), Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.

Bell, E., and A. Sinclair (2014), ‘Reclaiming eroticism in the academy’, Organization21: 2, pp. 268-280.

Benavot, A. (2012), ‘Policies toward quality education and student learning: constructing a critical perspective’, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 25: 1, pp. 67-77.

Berg, L., L Gahman and N Nunn (2014). ‘Neoliberalism, Masculinities and Academic Knowledge Production: Towards a Theory of “Academic Masculinities:, forthcoming in A Gorman-Murray and P Hopkins (eds.), Masculinities and Place, Farnham, UK and Burlington, USA: Ashgate Publishers,

Berg, L., E. Huijbens and H. Larsen (2016), ‘Producing anxiety in the neoliberal university’, The Canadian Geographer/le géographe canadien, 60: 2, pp.168-180.

Blommaert, J. (2015), ’Rationalizing the Unreasonable: There are no good academics in the EU’. CTRL+ALT+EM,

Bode, K. and Dale, L. (2012), ‘“Bullshit”? An Australian perspective; or, What can an organisational change impact statement tell us about higher education in Australia?’ Australian Humanities Review, 53,

Boden, R. and Epstein, D. (2011), ‘A flat earth society? Imagining academic freedom’, The Sociological Review, 59: 3, pp. 476-495.

Botting, F. (1997), ‘Culture and excellence’, Cultural Values, 1: 2, pp. 139-158.

Bristow, A., Robinson, S.  and Ratle, O. (2019) Academic arrhythmia: disruption, dissonance and conflict in the early-career rhythms of CMS academics. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 18(2): 241-260.

Bristow, A., Robinson, S.  and Ratle, O. (2017) Being an early-career CMS academic in the context of insecurity and ‘excellence’: the dialectics of resistance and compliance. Organization Studies, 38(9): 1185-1207.

Brouillette, S. (2013), ‘Academic labor, the aesthetics of management, and the promise of autonomous work’, Nonsite 9,

Brown, P. Lauder, H., and Ashton, D. (2011), The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bruno, I. and Newfield, C. (2010), ‘Can the cognitariat speak?’, e-flux journal, 14,

Burrows, R. (2012), ‘Living with the H-index? metrics, markets and affect in the contemporary academy’, Sociological Review, 60: 2, pp. 355-372.

Butler, N. and Spoelstra, S. (2012) Your Excellency. Organization, 19(6): 891-903.

Butler N. and Spoelstra, S. (2014) The regime of excellence and the erosion of ethos in Critical Management Studies. British Journal of Management, 25(3): 538-550.

Brynin, M. (2013), ‘Individual Choice and Risk: The Case of Higher Education’, Sociology 47: 2,pp.  284-300.

Cardozo, K. M. (2016), ‘Academic Labor: Who Cares?’ Critical Sociology, 0896920516641733.

Carter, C. (2008), Rhetoric and Resistance in the Corporate Academy, Cresskill: Hampton Press.

Chatterjee,P., and Maira, S. (eds.) (2014), The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

Chiapello, E., and Fairclough, N. (2002), ‘Understanding the new management ideology: a transdisciplinary contribution from critical discourse analysis and new sociology of capitalism’, Discourse and Society, 13: 2, pp. 185-208.

Collini, S. (2003), ‘HiEdBiz: the future of higher education’, London Review of Books, 25: 21, pp. 3-9,

Collini, S. (2012), What Are Universities For?, London: Penguin.

Cottom, D. (2003), Why Education is Useless, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Darbyshire, P. (2008), ‘“Never mind the quality, feel the width”: the nonsense of “quality”, “excellence”, and “audit” in education, health and research’, Collegian, 15: 1, pp. 35-41.

David, M. (2015), ‘Fabricating World Class: Global university league tables, status differentiation strategies and myths of global competition’, British Journal of Sociology of Education 37(1).

Docherty, T. (2011), For the University: Democracy and the Future of the Institution, London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Donoghue, F. (2008), The Last Professors: The Twilight of the Humanities in the Corporate University, New York: Fordham University Press.

Dyer-Witheford N. (2005), ‘Cognitive capitalism and the contested campus’, European Journal of Higher Arts Education, 2, pp. 71-93.

Evans, M. (2004), Killing Thinking: The Death of the Universities, London: Continuum.

Ferguson, R. (2012), The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

Fludernik, M. (2005), ‘Threatening the University: The Liberal Arts and the Economization of Culture’, New Literary History, 36: 1, Essays on the Humanities, pp. 57- 70.

Fotaki, M. (2011). ‘The sublime desire for knowledge (in academe): Sexuality at work in business and management schools in England’, British Journal of Management, 22: 1, pp. 42–53.

Furedi, F. (2009), Wasted: Why education isn’t educating. London: Continuum.

Gerrard, J. (2014), ‘All that is solid melts into work: self-work, the “learning ethic” and the work ethic’, The Sociological Review 62: 4, pp. 862–879.

Gill, R. (2009), ‘Breaking the silence: the hidden injuries of neo-liberal academia’, in R. Flood and R. Gill (eds.), Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process: Feminist Reflections, London: Routledge,

Gilmore, S., Harding, N., Helin, J. and Pullen, A. (2019) Writing Differently. Management Learning, 50(1): 3-10.

Ginsberg, B. (2011), The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gombrich, R.F. (2000), ‘British higher education policy in the last twenty years: the murder of a profession’, Tokyo University Graduate Institute of Policy Studies,

Gorlewski, J. (2013), ‘Dismissing Academic Surplus: How Discursive Support for the Neoliberal Self Silences New Faculty’, Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, (22),

Graham, G. (2002), Universities: The Recovery of an Idea, Charlottesville: Imprint Academic.

Graves, N., Barnett, A., and Clarke, P. (2011), ‘Funding grant proposals for scientific research: retrospective analysis of scores by members of grant review panel’, British Medical Journal, 343: d4797.

Gregg, M. (2010), ‘Working with affect in the corporate university’, in M. Liljeström and S. Paasonen (eds.), Disturbing Differences: Working with Affect in Feminist Readings, London: Routledge,

Hall, R., and Bowles, K. (2016), ‘Re-engineering higher education: the subsumption of academic labour and the exploitation of anxiety’, Workplace: A Journal for Academic Labor, (28).

Hall, R., and Stahl, B. (2012), ‘Against commodification: the university, cognitive capitalism and emergent technologies’, tripleC, 10: 2, pp. 184-202,

Harding, A., Scott, A., Laske, S. and Burtscher, C. (eds.) (2007), Bright Satanic Mills: Universities, regional development and the knowledge economy. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Henkel, M. (1997) ‘Academic values and the university as corporate enterprise’, Higher Education Quarterly, 51: 134–43.

Henkel, M. (2000), Academic identities and policy change in higher education. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Hicks, D. (2012), ‘Performance-based university research funding systems’ Research Policy, 41, pp. 251-261.

Holmwood, J. (2010), ‘Sociology’s misfortune: disciplines, interdisciplinarity and the impact of audit culture’, British Journal of Sociology, 61: 4, pp. 639-658.

Huzzard, T., Benner, M. and Kärreman, D. (eds) (2017) The Corporatization of the Business School: Minerva Meets the Market. London: Routledge.

Jolly, M. (2005), ‘Antipodean audits: Neoliberalism, illiberal governments and Australian universities’, Anthropology in Action, 12: 1, pp. 31-47.

Jones, R. (2011), ‘Leaving’, Qualitative Inquiry17: 7, pp. 631-638.

Kallio, KM., Kallio, TJ., Tienari, J.  (2016) Ethos at stake: Performance management and academic work in universities. Human Relations, 69(3): 685-709.

Kenny, M. (2013), ‘The rise of “the market” in political thinking about universities’, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 18: 1, pp. 7-23.

Kenway, J., Bullen, E. and Robb, S. (2004), ‘The knowledge economy, the techno-preneur and the problematic future of the university’, Policy Futures in Education, 2: 2 pp. 330–349.

Knights, D. and Clarke, C. (2014) It’s a bittersweet symphony, this life: fragile academic selves and insecure identities at work. Organization Studies, 35(3): 335-357.

Knouf, N. (2010), ‘Whither the libidinal university?’, Canadian Journal of Media Studies, 7: 1,

Kosut, Mary (2008), ‘Professorial Capital: Blue-collar reflections on class, culture, and the academy.’ In Kathleen Korgen (ed.), Contemporary Readings in Sociology. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press (pp. 125-130).

Krause, M., Nolan, M., Palm, M., and Ross, A. (eds.) (2008), The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Lim, M. and Svensson, P. (2007), ‘The embedded critic: marketing education in the future of the university’, Critical Management Studies Conference 5, The Civic University and the Future of Management Education: Business School Models and Futures, 11-13 July,  University of Manchester Business School, Manchester, U.K.,

Lock, G. and Martins, H. (2011), ‘Quantified control and the mass production of “psychotic citizens.”’,,

Lorenz, C. (2012), ‘If you’re so smart, why are you under surveillance? Universities, neoliberalism, and new public management’, Critical Inquiry, 38: 3, pp. 599-629.

Lynch, K. (2010), ‘Carelessness: A hidden doxa of higher education’, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 9: 1, pp. 54–67.

Macheridis, N (2015) ‘Coordination between governance actors in universities: the role of policy documents’, Tertiary Education and Management, 21: 3, pp. 173-185,

MacLaren, I. (2012), ‘The contradictions of policy and practice: creativity in higher education’, London Review of Education, 10: 2, pp. 159-172.

Marginson, S. (2012), ‘The impossibility of capitalist markets in higher education’, Journal of Education Policy, 28: 3, pp. 353-370.

Martin, B.R. (2011), ‘The Research Excellence Framework and the “impact agenda”: Are we creating a Frankenstein monster?’, Research Evaluation, 20: 3, pp. 247-54.

Mather, K., and Seifert, R. (2013), ‘The close supervision of further education lecturers: “You have been weighed, measured and found wanting”‘, Work, Employment & Society, 28: 1, pp. 95–111.

Mautner, G. (2005), ‘The entrepreneurial university: a discursive profile of a higher education buzzword’, Critical Discourse Studies, 2: 2, pp. 95-120.

McGloin, C. and Stirling, J. (2011) ‘Two left feet: dancing in academe to the rhythms of neoliberal discourse’, Cultural Studies Review 17: 1, pp. 296-319,

Molesworth, M., R. Scullion and E. Nixon (2010), The marketisation of higher education and the student as consumer. London: Routledge.

Morley, L. (2003), Quality and power in higher education. London: McGraw-Hill.

Morrish, L. (2019) Pressure Vessels: The epidemic of poor mental health among higher education staff, HEPI Occasional Paper 20. London: Higher Education Policy Institute. Available at:

Moten, F. and Harney, S. (2004), ‘The university and the undercommons: seven theses’, Social Text 79, 22: 2, pp. 101-115.

Naidoo, R. and Jamieson, I. (2005), ‘Empowering participants or corroding learning? Towards a research agenda on the impact of student consumerism in higher education’, Journal of Education Policy, 20: 3, pp. 267-281.

Naidoo, R. and J. Williams (2015), ‘The neoliberal regime in English higher education: Charters, consumers and the erosion of the public good’, Critical Studies in Education, 56: 2, pp. 208-23.

Newfield, C. (2008), Unmaking the Public University: the Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Noble, D. (2002), Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education, New York: Monthly Review Press.

Parker, M. (2014), ‘University, Ltd: Changing a business school’, Organization, 21: 2, pp. 281–292.

Parker, M., and D. Jary (1995), ‘The McUniversity: Organization, management and academic subjectivity’, Organization 2: 319–38.

Peters, M., and E. Bulut (2011), Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor, New York: Peter Lang.

Petersen, E. (2009), ‘Resistance and enrolment in the enterprise university: an ethno‐drama in three acts, with appended reading’, Journal of Education Policy, 24: 4, pp. 409-422.

Pettigrew, A.M. (2011), ‘Scholarship with impact’, British Journal of Management, 22: 3, pp. 347-54.

Radice, H. (2008), ‘Life after death? The Soviet system in British higher education’, International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 3: 2, pp. 99-120.

Rai, A. (2013), ‘Control and becoming in the neoliberal teaching machine’, ephemera, 13: 1, pp. 177-187.

Ratle, O., Robinson, S., Bristow, A. and Kerr, R. (2020) Mechanisms of micro-terror? Early career CMS academics’ experiences of ‘targets and terror’ in contemporary business schools. Management Learning. OnlineFirst.

Redden, G. (2008), ‘From RAE to ERA: research evaluation at work in the corporate university’, Australian Humanities Review, 45,

Redden, G. (2008), ‘Publish and flourish, or perish: RAE, ERA, RQF, and other acronyms for infinite human resourcefulness’, M/C Journal, 11: 4,

Reid, I. (2009), ‘Auditors of the managerial university: neo-liberal business advisers or paternal controllers?’, Globalisation, Societies and Education, 7: 3, pp. 337-355.

Reid, I. (2009),‘The contradictory managerialism of university quality assurance’, Journal of Education Policy, 24: 5, pp. 575-593.

Roggero, G. (2011), The Production of Living Knowledge: The Crisis of the University and the Transformation of Labor in Europe and North America, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Ruth, D. (2008), ‘Being an academic: authorship, authenticity and authority’, London Review of Education, 6: 2, pp. 99-109.

Ruth, D. (2010), ‘Monoculture on the intellectual landscape: research performance evaluation’, London Review of Education, 8: 2, pp. 141-151.

Ryan, S. (2012), ‘Academic zombies: a failure of resistance or a means of survival?’, Australian Universities’ Review, 54: 2, pp. 3-11.

Ryan, S., Burgess, J., Connell, J., and Groen, E. (2013) ‘Casual Academic Staff in an Australian University: Marginalised and excluded’, Tertiary Education and Management, 19:2, 161-175.

Ryan, S., Guthrie, J. and Neumann, R. (2008), ‘The case of Australian higher education: performance, markets and government control’, in C. Mazza, P. Quattrone and A. Riccaboni (eds.), European Universities in Transition: Issues, Models and Cases, London: Edward Elgar, pp. 171-187.

Sabri, D. (2013), ‘Student Evaluations of Teaching as “Fact-Totems”: The Case of the UK National Student Survey’, Sociological Research Online, 18: 4.

Samier, E (2014), Secrecy and Tradecraft in Educational Administration: The Covert Side of Educational Life. London: Routledge.

Schlesinger, P. (2013), ‘Expertise, the academy and the governance of cultural policy’, Media, Culture and Society 35: 1, pp. 27-35.

Schrecker, E. (2010), The Lost Soul of Higher Education, New York: The New Press.

Shore, C. (2008), ‘Audit culture and illiberal governance: universities and the politics of accountability’, Anthropological Theory, 8: 3, pp. 278-299.

Shore, C. (2010), ‘Beyond the multiversity: neoliberalism and the rise of the schizophrenic university’, Social anthropology/Anthropologie sociale, 18: 1, pp. 15-29.

Shore, C. and Wright, S. (1999), ‘Audit culture and anthropology: neo-liberalism in British higher education’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 5: 4, pp. 557-573.

SIGJ2 Writing Collective (2012), ‘What can we do? the challenge of being new academics in neoliberal universities’, Antipode, 0:0, pp. 1-4,

Sims, M. (2020), Bullshit Towers: Neoliberalism and Managerialism in Universities. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Slater, J. (2015), ‘Stresses and contradictions of trying to ‘do feminisms’ within the (neo)liberal academy’, Feminism and Psychology 25: 1, pp. 56-60.

Smith, C., and Ulus, E. (2019) Who cares for academics? We need to talk about emotional wellbeing including what we avoid and intellectualize through macro-discourses. Organization, OnlineFirst: 1-18.

Sousa, C., de Nijs, W., and Hendriks, P. (2010), ‘Secrets of the beehive: performance management in university research organizations’, Human Relations 63: 9, pp. 1439-1460.

Slaughter, S. and Leslie, L. (1997), Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Sparkes, A. (2007), ‘Embodiment, academics, and the audit culture: a story seeking consideration’, Qualitative Research, 7: 4, pp. 521-550.

Stevens, R. (2004), University to Uni: The Politics of Higher Education in England since 1944, London: Politico’s.

Strathern, M. (2000), ‘The tyranny of transparency’, British Educational Research Journal, 26: 3, pp. 309-321.

Thornton, M. (2004),  ‘Corrosive leadership (or bullying by another name): a corollary of the corporatised academy?’, Australian Journal of Labour Law, 17: 2, pp. 161-184,

Tribe, K. (2004), ‘Educational economies’, Economy and Society, 33: 4, pp. 605-620.

Valsan, C. and Sproule, R. (2010), ‘Why is it so Hard to Govern Higher Education? The University as a Public Corporation’,

Varsamopoulou, E. (2013), ‘The fate of the humanities, the fate of the university’, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms

Vidovich, L. and Currie, J. (2011), ‘Governance and trust in higher education’, Studies in Higher Education, 36: 1, pp. 43-56.

Veblen, T (1918), The Higher Learning in America; a memorandum on the conduct of universities by business men,

Vostal, F. (2016). Accelerating Academia: the changing structure of academic time. Springer.

Waters, L. (2004), Enemies of Promise: publishing, perishing, and the eclipse of scholarship, Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.

Weller, M. (2011), The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice. London: Bloomsbury.

Williams, J. (2013), Consuming higher education: Why learning can’t be bought. London: Bloomsbury.

Winter, R. (1995), ‘The University of Life plc: the “industrialisation” of higher education’, in J. Smyth (ed.), Academic Work: The Changing Labour Process in Higher Education, Buckingham: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press, pp. 129-143.

Wolf, A. (2002), Does Education Matter? Myths about Education and Economic Growth, London: Penguin.

Wood, F. (2010), ‘Occult innovations in higher education: corporate magic and the mysteries of managerialism’, Prometheus, 28: 3, pp. 227-244.

Young, S., Peetz, D. and Marais, M. (2011), ‘The impact of journal ranking fetishism on Australian policy-related research.’ Australian Universities’ Review, 53: 2, pp. 77-87,

Založnik, P. and Gaspard, J. (2011), ‘Social scientists and the European neoliberal university: tensions in conceptualisations of the public role of universities’, in I. Trivundža, N. Carpentier, H. Nieminen, P. Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, R. Kilborn, E. Sundin and T. Olsson (eds.), Critical Perspectives on the European Mediasphere. The intellectual work of the 2011 ECREA European media and communication doctoral summer school, Ljubljana: Hermina Krajnc, pp. 203-215,

Also, check out this Open University bibliography, the unicasual bibliographythis special issue of Social Text, this special issue of symplokē, this themed issue of Cultural Studies Reviewthis issue of ephemera, as well as this one and this one, this special issue of Social Anthropology, the later debate about academic capitalism in the same journal, the papers in this section of Feminist Review, the special section on academic labour in this volume of the International Journal of Communication, the Collini book review symposium here, this issue of Topia, the thematic section in this edition of FQS, this special issue of Labour & Industry, this issue of Feminist Formations, this issue of Australian Universities’ Review, Joss Winn’s co-operative university bibliography, and any issue of edu-factory or Workplace.

Last updated July 15, 2020. More coming soon, and let us know if you find something useful.

  1. Sarah Juliet Lauro says:

    You might also check out this soon to be released collection, available for pre-order on Fordham UP’s website. Shameless plug, I know.

  2. […] And another wordpress blogger seems to be working along similar lines with the blog “Zombies in the Academy” with a possible book of collected essay. Their most recent post suggests “Academia” is itself “Toxic” – reminiscent of my ZombieLaw post on the zombie education system. Zombies in the Academy has also compiled a lengthy APA-style bibliography of zombie research. […]

  3. […] or “spirit-being.”) In fact, Zombie Studies is offered as a legitimate field of research by some academics, to the disgust of conservatives and evangelicals everywhere. So it is noteworthy […]

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