Affective subjectivation in the precarious neoliberal academia

Paola Valero, Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen, Kristiina Brunila

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Affective subjectivation is a notion that describes the processes by which academics are inclined to turn themselves into manageable subjects within the context of precarious academic life. Based on three fictional, realistic stories, three topics are discussed: precaritisation in academia as an organisation and the relationship between managers and academics; the governing through affect in the constant ambivalence between anxiety and self-development; and the power effects of these two together in creating neoliberal academic subjects. Both the strategy of working with fictional stories and the analytical stance allows opening up the public secrets of the ways in which neoliberal precarious conditions govern the lives and bodies of academics nowadays. Disclosing those secrets is a form of resistance against the violence of current affective subjectivation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResisting Neoliberalism in Higher Education : Seeing through the Cracks
EditorsDorothy Bottrell, Catherine Manathunga
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication dateJan 2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-95942-9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
SeriesCritical University Studies Series

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