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Against innovation: Compromised institutional agency and acts of custodianship, the first letter

On 30 November, 2015 a number of us shadow librarians who advocate, build and maintain ‘shadow libraries’, i.e. online infrastructures allowing users to digitise, share and debate digital texts and collections, published a letter (, 2015) in support of two of the largest user-created repositories of pirated textbooks and articles on the Internet – Library Genesis and Science Hub.

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.

Revisiting Jon McKenzie’s Perform or else: Performance, labour and pedagogy


Stevphen Shukaitis: Currently I’m co-editing an issue of the journal ephemera: theory & politics in organization. It comes out of management and organisation studies, but it’s a more critical theory orientated journal drawing from Marxism, queer studies, sociology and the arts. It is published open source, so its readership is much broader than most journals.

No future

The Productive Centrality of the University in the Age of Cognitive Capitalism

Today we often use the concept of ‘Cognitive Capitalism’,[1] or, indeed, Post-Fordist production, to denote a profound breakdown that has occurred during the last few decades. And when we speak about a ‘society of knowledge’ we point out that today knowledge is the new tool of capitalist accumulation.

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