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Tips, Leads, and Follow-ups

Published onJul 09, 2019
Tips, Leads, and Follow-ups

The process of turning the diary into a book raised a practical question: how should I reference the literature cited and the ideas of the writers who had influenced it? Would I use the conventional styles of academic referencing and/or include footnotes? Trying to make the diary fit a conventional academic style just seemed counter to the spirit of this experiment in writing differently.

Citation is the academic equivalent of good manners and referencing the work and ideas that influences our thinking is a matter of giving credit where credit is due. As you will have read, authors are mentioned and cited throughout the diary. All of that work is detailed below. Rather than merely compile a standard bibliography I have grouped the work that I have used under a number of themes. The intention here is that the annotations will provide a guide to reading tips and ideas to follow up that include books but also blogs and online resources.

Universities in Changing Times

There is a very lively and insightful critical literature on how public universities have been transformed by commercialization and the education consequences of these changing financial pressures around funding. Authors like Marina Warner and Rosalind Gill have vividly documented the corrosive affects this has for faculty and scholars from within the university. There is also an abundance of analysis of how these transformations are changing the role of the university and its relationship to society more broadly (see Evans, Collini, McGettigan, Readings, Newfield). Among these Roger Burrows and Derek Sayer have written excellent critiques of the consequences and hypocrisies that result as metrics have proliferated to rank and judge academic value both for individuals, departments and universities.

In addition, there is important new critical writing on how academic authority is colonized by white somatic norms in the university and how class, race and gender inequalities structure the academy. Sara Ahmed deconstructs these forms of power and the racialized expectations that follow from them and shows how new knowledges are produced out of a struggle to achieve real change. Also, Yasmin Gunaratnam describes the consequences this has for black feminist scholars who, as a result of the racialized expectations placed upon them, are experiencing what she calls ‘presentation fever’. Nathan Richard’s important films Absent from the Academy and Why is My Curriculum So White? document both the underrepresentation of people of colour inside the universities and the enduring Eurocentric nature of the curriculum.

I have listed a range of the writing I have found most useful in making sense of what is happening to the university in uncertain and changing times. 

  • Ahmed, Sara. (2012) On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.

  • Bailey, Michael. (2015) ‘The Strange Death of the Liberal University’.

  • 3 April, Opendemocracy,

  • Bate, Jonathan, ed. (2011) The Public Value of the Humanities. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

  • British Sociological Society Sociology and the Cuts blog, available at:

  • Burrows, R. (2012) ‘Living with the H-Index? Metric Assemblages in the Contemporary Academy’, The Sociological Review, 60(2): 355–372.

  • Campaign For the Public University Campaign for the Public University, website available at:

  • Collini, Stefan. (2012) What are Universities For? London: Penguin Books.

  • Collini, Stefan. (2013) ‘Sold Out’, London Review of Books, 35(20) (24 October): 3–12.

  • Evans, Mary. (2004) Killing Thinking: the Death of the Universities. London: Continuum.

  • Gill, Rosalind. (2010) ‘Secrets, Silences and Toxic Shame in the Neoliberal University’, in Róisín Ryan-Flood and Rosalind Gill, eds. Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process Feminist Reflections. London: Routledge, pp. 228–245.

  • Gunaratnam, Yasmin. (2015) ‘Presentation Fever and Podium Affects’, Case-Stories, 18 March, available at:

  • Harney, Stefano and Moten, Fred. (2013) The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.

  • Kelly, Aidan and Burrows, Roger. (2012) ‘Measuring the Value of Sociology? Some Notes on the Performative Metricisation of the Contemporary Academy’, in Lisa Adkins and Celia Lury, eds. Measure and Value: A Sociological Review Monograph. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 130–150.

  • Kerr, Clark. (1963) The Idea of the University. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Knowles, Caroline and Burrows, Roger. (2014) ‘The Impact of Impact’, Etnográfica, 18(2): 237–254.

  • McGettigan, Andrew. (2013) The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education. London: Pluto Press.

  • Newfield, Christopher. (2008) Unmaking the Public University: the Forty-year Assault on the Middle Class. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Readings, Bill. (1996) The University in Ruins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Remaking the University – Michael Meranze and Christopher Newfield’s blog, available at:

  • Richards, Nathan E., dir. (2013) Absent From the Academy. London: A Narrative Media, available at:

  • Richards, Nathan E., dir. (2014) Why is My Curriculum So White? London: A Narrative Media.

  • Sayer, Derek. (2014) Rank Hypocrisies: The Insult of the REF. London: Sage.

  • Taylor, Laurie. (2012) ‘What’s Wrong with University?’New Humanist, March/April, pp. 34–37.

  • Warner, Marina. (2014) ‘Diary: Why I Quit’, The London Review of Books, 36(17): 42–43.

  • Warner, Marina. (2015) ‘Learning My Lesson’, The London Review of Books, 37(6): 8–14.

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