Dark Academia: How Universities Die (Paperback)
There is a significant link between the neoliberalisation of higher education over the last 20 years and the psychological hell now endured by its members. 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 today who believes that now. Peter Fleming delves into this new metrics-obsessed, overly hierarchical world to bring out the unspoken, private and emotional 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 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).
'Fleming's books are sparklingly sardonic and hilariously angry' - the Guardian