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ill-being and the University

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My slides for my presentation on Ill-being and the University, at the NNMHR Congress 2021: Medical Humanities: In(Visibility): https://nnmhr2021.org/ @nnmhrmed #nnmhr2021

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ill-being and the University

  1. 1. Ill-being and the University Richard Hall ¦ @hallymk1 ¦ rhall1@dmu.ac.uk ¦ richard-hall.org #NNMHR2021
  2. 2. The pathological University is the crisis
  3. 3. The pathological University is shaped in relation to competition and value (for money)
  4. 4. flexploitation amplified through crises: academic work made precarious, entrepreneurial and proletarianised. crises of capital shape the symbolism of the University (human capital/commodity, debt, debt covenants and surpluses). this is an institution seemingly shaped only in relation to crisis, but unable to address the great unravelling. a narrative that catayses academic and student ill-health or quitting, and in particular of a rise in anxiety.
  5. 5. Ill-being in the anxiety machine
  6. 6. The anxiety machine normalises ill-being/weltschmerz/hopelessness • normalised: anxiety-driven overwork as a culturally-acceptable self- harming activity in the academic peloton • pathological: the design of a system driven by improving productivity and the potential for the accumulation of capital • methodological: forms of anxiety that generate automated, hyperactive and repetitive institutional responses, which are of such competitive advantage that they are not a systemic bug
  7. 7. The pathological University and the pandemic
  8. 8. Pathologies of value amplified by Covid Cultures revealed as pathologies of overwork, self-harm and self- sacrifice. A miasma of hopelessness that another world might be possible. Inside highly competitive environments, vulnerability also tends to shape a deeper relationship between defeat, entrapment and depression.
  9. 9. In the pandemic, The hopeless University is a flag bearer for a collective life that is becoming more efficiently unsustainable. • When the abstracted power of capital has revealed its annihilation of systems of life and living, how do University workers widen the horizon of possibility beyond algorithmic solutions to insoluble, structural and systemic positions? • Can we can ask ‘the only scientific question that remains to us…: how the fuck do we get out of this mess?’ (Holloway 2010: 919). • Can we compost how we feel about our work and lives?
  10. 10. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

My slides for my presentation on Ill-being and the University, at the NNMHR Congress 2021: Medical Humanities: In(Visibility): https://nnmhr2021.org/ @nnmhrmed #nnmhr2021

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