Governing Academic Life – conference marking 30yrs since Foucault’s death

This looks fantastic! If only it didn’t clash with something equally good at Warwick on those days…

Governing Academic Life

A conference at the LSE and the British Library,

June 25-26, 2014

Register online*

June 25, 2014 is the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Michel Foucault. Governing Academic Life marks this anniversary by providing an occasion for academics to reflect on our present situation through our reflections on Foucault’s legacy – which could include critical reflections on that legacy. The focus of the conference, therefore, will be on the form of governmentality that now constitutes our identities and regulates our practices as researchers and teachers. However the event will also create a space for encounters between governmentality scholars and critics of the neoliberal academy whose critiques have different intellectual roots – especially Frankfurt school critical theory, critical political economy; feminism; Bourdieuian analyses of habitus, capital and field; and autonomist Marxism.

Please see below for the provisional conference programme. For more information, contact

*There will be a limited number of fee waivers/reduced rates available for doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, other early career academics (particularly if based in academic institutions outside of London), and scholars without an institutional affiliation. To apply for a fee waiver/reduced rate, please send an email to by midnight on May 30, 2014 explaining why your participation in the conference would be beneficial to you and/or other attendees, and attaching a short CV (no more than 2 pages).

Wednesday, 25th June

09.30-10.45            Refreshments

10.45-11.00             Welcome and opening remarks

11.00-12.30             Opening Plenary

Gurminder Bhambra (Warwick), ‘The Neoliberal Assault on the Public University’
Wendy Brown (Berkeley) ‘Between Shareholders and Stakeholders: University Purposes Adrift’
Mike Power (LSE) ‘Accounting for the Impact of Research’

12.30-13.30              Lunch

13.30-15.00              Parallel Sessions

A. (Anti-)Social Science, the neoliberal art of government, and higher education

John Holmwood (Nottingham) , ‘Neo-liberalism as a theory of knowledge and its implications for the social sciences and critical thought’
Nick Gane (Warwick), ‘Neoliberalism: How Should the Social Sciences Respond?’
Andrew McGettigan (Critical Education blog), ‘Human Capital in English Higher Education’

B. What is an author, now? Futures of scholarly communication and academic publishing

Roundtable discussion with Steffen Boehm (Essex), Christian Fuchs (Westminster), Gary Hall (Coventry), Paul Kirby (Sussex)

15.00-15.15                 Refreshments

15.15-17.00                 Parallel Sessions

A. Feminism and the knowledge factory
(Convenor: Valerie Hey, Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER), University of Sussex)

Barbara Crossouard (CHEER), ‘Materializing Foucault?’
Valerie Hey (CHEER), ‘Neo-Liberal Materialities and their Dissident Daughters’
Louise Morley (CHEER), ‘Researching the Future: Closures and Culture Wars in the Knowledge Economy’

B. Co-operative higher education
(Convenor: Joss Winn, Lincoln)

Richard Hall, ‘Academic Labour and Co-operative Struggles for Subjectivity’
Mike Neary (Lincoln), ‘Challenging the Capitalist University’
Joss Winn (Lincoln), ‘The University as a Worker Co-operative’
Andreas Wittel (Nottingham Trent) ‘Education as a Gift’

18.15-20.00              Pay bar at Terrace Room, British Library

18.30-20.00              Remember Foucault? (Terrace Room, British Library)

Mitchell Dean (Copenhagen Business School), ‘Michel Foucault’s “apology” for neoliberalism’
Lois McNay (Oxford) ‘Foucault, Social Weightlessness and the Politics of Critique’


Thursday, 26th June

09.30- 11.00             Parallel Sessions

A. Governing academic freedom

Stephen J Ball (Institute of Education: University of London) ‘Universities and “the economy of truth”’
Penny Burke (Roehampton) and Gill Crozier (Roehampton), ‘Regulating Difference in Higher Education Pedagogies’
Rosalind Gill (City University), ‘The Psychic Life of Neoliberalism in the Academy’

B. Teaching the ungovernable: rethinking the student as public

(Convenor: Carl Cederström, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University)

Sam Dallyn (Manchester Business School, Manchester University), ‘Management Education: Critical Management Myopia and Searching for an Alternative Public’
Carl Cederström, ‘The Student as Public’
Matthew Charles (Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, Westminster)
‘The Ungovernable in Education: On Unintended Learning Outcomes’
Mike Marinetto (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University), ‘The Ungovernable Syllabus: Social Science Fiction and the Creation of a Public Pedagogy’

11.00-11.30               Refreshments

11.30-13.00               Parallel Sessions

A. Measurement, management and the market university

Elizabeth Popp Berman (SUNY Albany), ‘Quantifying the Economic Value of Science: The Production and Circulation of U.S. Science & Technology Statistics’
Isabelle Bruno (University of Lille 2), ‘Quality management in education and research: an essay in genealogy’
Christopher Newfield (UC Santa Barbara), ‘The Price of Privatization’

B. Para-academic Practices: becoming ungovernable?
(Convenor Paul Boshears)

Paul Boshears (European Graduate School; continent), ‘Rudderless Piloting, Unwavering Pivoting, Governing without Coercion’
Fintan Neylan, (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought), ‘The Logic of Para-Organisation’
Robert Jackson (Lancaster) ‘Para-academia and the Education of Grownups’
Eileen Joy (Punctum Books) ‘Amour Fou and the Clockless Nowever: Radical Publics’ (by weblink)

13.00-14.30              Lunch

14.30-16.45               Final Plenary: Beyond the Neoliberal Academy

Participants tbc

16.45-17.00              Closing remarks

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