Neoliberalism and Academic Repression

The Fall of Academic Freedom in the Era of Trump


Neoliberalism and Academic Repression: The Fall of Academic Freedom in the Era of Trump, co-edited by Erik Juergensmeyer, Anthony J. Nocella II, and Mark Seis, provides a theoretical examination of the current higher education system and explains how academia is being shaped into a corporate-factory-industrial-complex. This complex is transforming the relationships within and beyond the institution, transforming the mission of higher education from being the foundation of democracy to manager of professionalism. The outstanding contributors offer strategies of social change, policy suggestions, and important critiques of neoliberal practices. This timely collection challenges the neoliberal emphasis on valuation based on job readiness and outcome achievement—promoting equity, justice, and inclusivity in the process.

Contributors include: Camila Bassi, Brad Benz, A. Peter Castro, Taine Duncan, Sarah Giragosian, Erik Juergensmeyer, Caroline K. Kaltefleiter, Peter N. Kirstein, Emil Marmol, Anthony J. Nocella II, Ben Ristow, JL Schatz, Mark Seis, Jeff Shantz, Kim Socha, Richard J. White.

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Erik Juergensmeyer, Ph.D. (2007), University of Arizona, is Professor of English at Fort Lewis College. He has published numerous books, articles and chapters on administration, pedagogy, and conflict resolution, including Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education, co-edited with Anthony J. Nocella II (Peter Lang, 2017).

Anthony Nocella, Ph.D. (2011), Syracuse University, is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Salt Lake Community College. He has published numerous books on academic repression, anarchist criminology, anarchism and animal liberation, policing the campus, and work from incarcerated youth.

Mark Seis, Ph.D. (1996), Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is Professor Emeritus at Fort Lewis College. Most recently, he is the author of “An Anarchist Criminology for Understanding Environmental Degradation” in Contemporary Anarchist Criminology, which he co-edited with Anthony J. Nocella II and Jeff Shantz (2018).
"Neoliberalism and Academic Repression is a powerful book, which draws together some of the most prominent academic-activists working across a range of disciplines and contexts. As a testament to the(ir) increasingly dystopic realities and struggles within the Corporate University, it is a deeply chilling read. At the same time a politics of hope and defiance burns brightly throughout its pages: we can liberate higher education from its neoliberal shackles if we act now! For this reason alone, Neoliberalism and Academic Repression deserves to be read widely, both within and beyond the academy."
—Dr. Richard J. White, Sheffield Hallam University

“A must read! Neoliberalism and Academic Repression dismantles and exposes, piece by piece, the state’s attempt to not only stifle but to drag universities and education into intellectual darkness. It exposes brilliantly the various manifestations of the neoliberal corporate structures that have insinuated themselves into the lives of teachers and students to such an extent that disciplines and faculties are either closed or re-branded to situate the developing learner as a consumer at the funfair of corporate education. Any attempts, as this book shows, to engage the learner in a deeper, critical analysis of the world around them is shut down, derided, or viewed with suspicion by the system, sometimes with significant consequences.”
—Carolyn Drew, Executive Director, Institute for Critical Animal Studies

“This is an important book. It provides a theoretical analysis of an ongoing process that is transforming universities into mass robot production factories. Intellectual curiosity and critique are, for the most part, no longer the primary goals of higher education. They have been replaced by the goal of employability for corporate profit.”
—Dr. John C. Alessio, Professor Emeritus, Minnesota State University, Mankato

“These contributions collectively address crucial issues of our time that are deeply entwined with higher education, democracy, and the potential for enacting social change at this current juncture of history. The pieces speak to the ways in which the work of academics is organized by neoliberal political/economic factors, just as the very systems that have the potential to mitigate oppressive forces—the systems that enable the capacity to provide a critical educational environment for students—are undermined. This compilation truly speaks truth to power in ways that must be articulated, as it provides us with more of the tools that we desperately need to both think through these complex dynamics and to engage in actions to create a better, more equitable, and thoughtful world.”
—Dr. Lauren E. Eastwood, SUNY College at Plattsburgh

“The emergence of Neoliberalism and Academic Repression: The Fall of Academic Freedom in the age of Trump is timely in the current socio-political climate in which we are living. With the undermining of public academic institutions, the attack on scientific thought and facts, and the subsequent erosion of intellectualism, this book provides the reader with multiple critical frameworks by which to think about this historical moment and injects much needed discourse to combat the suppression our society is facing.”
—Dr. Chandra Ward, University of Tennessee Chattanooga

“This collection focuses our attention on some of the most important questions regarding the current state of public higher education. In many ways, the questions posed in this work have applicability beyond higher education as neoliberal policies undermine many of the public programs, institutions, and regulations built up in the last century to bring about greater equality, rights, and protections in society. For this reason, this collection should be read.”
—Dr. John Baranski, El Camino College

“This important book touches on the importance of stopping the current administration’s executive power over the thoughts of our youth and society. This is a must read because we as a society must pay attention to the past sins and failures or we will be destined to repeat them.” —Alisha Page, National Coordinator, Save the Kids

“In Neoliberalism and Academic Repression, Erik Juergensmeyer, Anthony J. Nocella II, and Mark Seis remind us how difficult it is to see the operation of repressive processes and practices and how important it is to make them visible. This stimulating collection does just that by exploring the bureaucratization and exploitation of higher education, the alienation this breeds and the alarming, implications.” —Dr. Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University

“In a world of competing and contending social realities, this volume challenges the perpetuation of racism, classism, and sexism implicit in the standards used to assess learning. It does so while recognizing the value of what we learn from the varied experience and knowledge of our students.”
—Dr. Hal Pepinsky, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University

“Neoliberalism and Academic Repression is a much-needed reference that examines the many nuances of the subject thoroughly and holistically.” —Isabella La Rocca, Centre College
About Neoliberalism and Academic Repression ix
Foreword: The Erosion of Academic Freedom xii
A. Peter Castro
Preface xv
Richard J. White
Acknowledgements xviii
Notes on Contributors xix

 Introduction: The Academic Industrial Complex: The Dangers of Corporate Education and Factory Schooling
Erik Juergensmeyer, Anthony J. Nocella II, and Mark Seis

Part 1: Theoretical Approaches to Neoliberal Education

 1 Marx, Neoliberalism, and Academic Freedom: Toward a Dialectic of Resistance and Liberation
Peter Kirstein
 2 On the Death Throes of Education: Erich Fromm’s Marxism and a Rallying Cry for a Healthy University
Camila Bassi
 3 Pondering the Neoliberal Public University with the Ghost of Foucault
Mark Seis
 4 Neoliberalism, Discursive Formations, and the Educational Intelligence Complex
Erik Juergensmeyer and Brad Benz

Part 2: Corporate Factory Schooling

 5 Academic Repression of Latina/os in the United States Educational System: A LatCrit Perspective
Emil Marmol
 6 Mobilizing Resistance against the Shadow Economies of Global Private Tutoring
Ben Ristow
 7 Fun Home, Self-censorship, and Emancipation beyond Trigger Warnings
Taine Duncan
 8 Debating against the Grain: Occupying Policy Debate in the Face of Repression
JL Schatz
 9 Cops on Campus: Nightstickology, Postsecondary Spaces, and the Development of Repressive Forces
Jeff Shantz
 10 Learning to Labor: (Anarcha) Feminism, the Myth of Meritocracy, Incivility and Resistance for Women in the Neoliberal Academy
Caroline K. Kaltefleiter
 11 The Democratic Potential of Ecopedagogy in a Neoliberal Age
Sarah Giragosian

Kim Socha

Academics, activists, administrators, and students interested neoliberalism and academic freedom, and anyone concerned with the future of higher education.
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