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Peter Fleming, Will Davies, Gargi Bhattacharyya, Albena Azmanova - How Universities Die | Pluto Live (2021)


* Program starts at about 14 minutes...

Join Peter Fleming, Will Davies, Gargi Bhattacharyya and chair Albena Azmanova for a launch event to mark the release of Peter's book 'Dark Academia: How Universities Die', published by Pluto Press.

There is a strong link between the neoliberalisation of higher education over the last 20 years and the psychological hell now endured by its staff and students. While academia was once thought of as the best job in the world - one that fosters autonomy, craft, intrinsic job satisfaction and vocational zeal - you would be hard-pressed to find a lecturer who believes that now.

Peter Fleming delves into this new metrics-obsessed, overly hierarchical world to bring out the hidden underbelly of the neoliberal university. He examines commercialisation, mental illness and self-harm, the rise of managerialism, students as consumers and evaluators, and the competitive individualism which casts a dark sheen of alienation over departments.

Arguing that time has almost run out to reverse this decline, this book shows how academics and students need to act now if they are to begin to fix this broken system. 

Peter Fleming is Professor of Organisation Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is the author of 'The Mythology of Work' (Pluto, 2015) and 'The Death of Homo Economicus' (Pluto, 2017).

Will Davies is Professor of Political Economy at Goldsmiths. He is author of 'This Is Not Normal' (Verso, 2020), 'Nervous States' (Jonathan Cape, 2018), 'The Happiness Industry' (Verso, 2015) and 'The Limits of Neoliberalism' (Sage, 2014).

Chair Albena Azmanova is a scholar, author and political commentator. She is currently Associate Professor in Political and Social Thought at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies and is the author of 'Capitalism on Edge' (2020).

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