Zachary Kaiser
Art, Critique, and Superfluousness: The Psychic Violence of the Optimized Academy
Published on FutureU, summer 2019

Check out the full article here.

This (admittedly speculative) post deals with some of the intrinsic conflicts that come with participating in academia with the belief that one is helping make the world a better place — which is one reason that many of us come to academia. Some faculty understand that all is not as it seems, despite our best intentions, and, quite often, despite our best efforts. In light of the ongoing austerity measures hampering public higher education and the quest for optimization in which universities and their faculties are increasingly engaged, I hope to examine the affective dimension of this conflict and its impact on our actions as scholars, teachers, and citizens of the world. This post is written from the perspective of an academic working in the arts and humanities at a research institution, and certainly won’t be representative of the broad and diverse collective of disciplines, interests, and institutional situations that can be found across academia today. Nonetheless, I hope it resonates with some of my readers.