Publication Details

Whelan, A. (2015). Academic critique of neoliberal academia. Sites: a journal of social anthropology and cultural studies, 12 (1),


Academic texts running critiques of neoliberal capitalism do work: positioning and producing their authors, hailing and invoking their readers (particularly as subjects invested in the moral logic the critique establishes), and thereby, articulating and moralising the collaborative accomplishment of the reader-writer relation. This relation and its constitution is a feature of contemporary leftist academic culture, and of the mechanics of critique as a social or 'solidarising' form of writing/reading. Attending closely to it highlights some vulnerabilities of the academic critique of neoliberal forms of life, and can illuminate the extent to which this critique constitutes its object in problematic ways: in terms particularly of irreflexivity around the social effects or otherwise of critique as intellectual practice, and of the historical relations between academic practices and neoliberalism itself.



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