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Collective chronopolitics

It is always a pleasure to read what Melissa Gregg writes. Her blog Home cooked theory, where she often posted her still raw ideas, including many for this book, was a wonderful treat to read for insight on current cultural studies of work until Gregg closed it down a couple of years ago. Readers of ephemera will be familiar with Gregg’s prior work, in particular her book Work’s intimacy (Gregg, 2011), and her work on affect theory, such as The affect theory reader (Gregg, 2010), which she co-edited with Gregg Seigworth.

América Latina siglo XXI: Golpes, derechos y cientificidio


En la Argentina, desde el 10 de diciembre 2015, asumió el gobierno de la Alianza Cambiemos encabezado por Mauricio Macri y a partir de ese momento arrancó un conflicto que, entre otras cosas, se expresó a través de un ajuste brutal en el sistema de Ciencia, Técnica y Universidad. Asimismo, se crearon varios colectivos militantes de Ciencia y Técnica.

Rational choice and neoliberal theories of the intellectual commons: A critical analysis


The intellectual commons are social practices of pooling together and managing in common intangible resources produced by sharing and collaboration within and among productive communities. At the same time, practices of commoning within the intellectual commons are not only restricted to the reproduction of resources, but rather constitute in their totality forms of life in common, i.e practices which constantly reproduce the communal relations upon which the productive process is based.

On quitting


On May 3rd, 2013, Keguro Macharia wrote a piece for The New Inquiry called ‘On quitting’. It was a courageous, painfully beautiful piece that started with a diagnosis: ‘bipolar disorder, an oscillation between periods of frenetic activity and periods of profound depression’ (Macharia, 2013). This is a condition perfectly compatible with the academic calendar, he added, chronicled by an alternation of almost drug-induced bursts of mental productivity followed by a near-catatonic state of exhaustion and prolonged delays.

The perestroika of academic labour: The neoliberal transformation of higher education and the resurrection of the ‘command economy’


Once quite privileged professionals, university staff in the UK and elsewhere have undergone a dramatic process of proletarianisation over the last thirty years. This has resulted in stagnating and, recently, actually falling levels of pay, a huge growth in student numbers without corresponding increases in funding, and a massive increase in the number of precarious, hourly-paid lecturers.

The labour of academia


Universities around the world are responding to a myriad of changes, pressures and opportunities in weird and wonderful ways, both of which require critical scrutiny and creative action. Take, for example, the University of Warwick’s recent branding strategy. In 2015, alongside a visual make-over and redesigned logo, the university issued a set of guidelines laying out the ‘Warwick tone of voice’. These guidelines instruct university staff how to communicate ‘in a tone that’s true to our brand’.

The labour of academia

The purpose of the contemporary university is being radically transformed by the encroachment of corporate imperatives into higher education. This has inevitable consequences for managerial interventions, ​​​funding structures, and teaching and research audits. It also impacts on the working conditions of academic staff in university institutions in terms of teaching, research, administration and public engagement.

Migration, consumption and work: A postcolonial perspective on post-socialist migration to the UK


Under the current globalized neoliberal economy, consumption has become central to transnational employment relations and migration processes (Ong, 1999; Samaluk, 2016a). Consumption – transformed through commodity flows, promoted through culturally chosen ideas of consumer agency, and mediated through global and deterritorialized mass-media and information technologies – has also become part of the capitalist civilizing process (Appadurai, 1996).

Total bureaucratisation, neo-liberalism, and Weberian oligarchy

David Graeber’s book on rules and bureaucracy examines the topic from a refreshing standpoint. Much management literature, since at least Bennis (1965), has made the claim that bureaucracy and competitive markets and/or change are somehow incompatible. The world needs to be post-bureaucratic ­­– ‘bureaucracy must die’ (Hamel, 2014), organizations must be more entrepreneurial (Drucker, 1984). These are the refrains we hear – if we are to survive and grow, creativity must be unleashed from the shackles of bureaucracy.

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