[iDC] iDC Digest, Vol 77, Issue 11

Patrick Crogan Patrick.Crogan at uwe.ac.uk
Mon Jul 11 08:42:58 UTC 2011

Yes Mark,
as some of the other posters have said, you want to get over here to the UK if you want to see what a war on humanities looks like; they're coming for us with dogs and large sticks to escort us off the premises.

What goes with this today is a galloping proletarianisation (to use a term from Stiegler) of academic labour (symptom of the end of the 'bourgeosie' in general; oh well, we had it ok for a while when it was only factory workers whose skills, experience and collective dignity/power were systematically replaced by the calculus of 'labour power' units). This year my UK univ is (aside from rounds of voluntary and soon compulsory redundancies, demotions, etc) rolling out its new 'workload model' that quantifies what we do in units known as 'bundles', resulting in me slated to teach across 5 modules instead of 3 last year (can't believe how inadequate my productivity has been!); we also have an online assessment submission and processing system being rolled out (after a 'consultation' process after the decision had been made) that virtually compels staff to read and provide feedback online (the time required and departtmental stationary budgets will preclude printing out student papers). 

Major benefits: students have even less need to actually come to university; management gets a whole new set of surveillance metadata on staff 'productivity'.


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