This talk explores the apparent paradox of critique in and of contemporary universities. In the past years, there has been no shortage of narratives and publications describe, interpret, and denounce what has been framed as the undue ‘incursion’ of economic and market-making logic into higher education. Despite the proliferation of these forms of critique, it seems as if academics have been powerless in stopping the neoliberal transformation of institutions of knowledge production, with sustained forms of resistance rare or completely absent. Drawing on the work of theorists like Luc Boltanski and Judith Butler, and author’s research into the political economy of critique in UK higher education, the talk offers a sociological reading of the relationship between intellectual and political interventions in the current historical moment.
Listen to the seminar here: