Copy to Clipboard. Add italics as necessaryCite as: Bruna Martins Coelho, ‘Object: This Not-a-Paper ​“on” the Andropobscenic University’, in Displacing Theory Through the Global South, ed. by Iracema Dulley and Özgün Eylül İşcen, Cultural Inquiry, 29 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2024), pp. 177–95 <https:/​/​doi.org/​10.37050/​ci-29_12>

Object: This Not-a-Paper ‘on’ the Andropobscenic UniversityBruna Martins CoelhoORCID

Abstract

Starting from the editorial committee’s proposal concerning strategies for the recognition of Global South researches, in this letter I indicate a number of broader impasses related to neoliberal academia in a context in which ecological crisis emerges as a major crisis of capital. To do so, I resort to concepts drawn from feminist, decolonial, and post-structuralist literature and bring them into dialogue with a Marxist framework of analysis.

Keywords: feminism; university system; precariousness; ethics of capitalism; neoliberal ideology

Dear nobodies,

I solemnly announce my fatigue. Hosted by a friend in President Lula’s town, I am re-writing this letter, originally drafted amidst YouTube windows and inside my thirty-square-meter Greifswalder Straße apartment. The workspace was chaotic — to say the least. There were leftovers on the counter, a few duplicate files, triple stress. Organization comes later, also in this new room. Yet, there is no more Puŝok meowing, interrupting me, and beating a retreat, sickened by cheap cat chow. Arriving with 600 felines after the first Russian offensive, alongside inflation and military metaphors, he remained in Berlin with my partner — again. But let me clear the counter and move the desktop windows to start this letter properly.

Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot on one side of the screen, lesser-known scholars on the other, with their YouTube speeches about the university. My Zotero’s endless folders: article, scholarship 1, 2, and 3, course 1, PhD, translation project, scientific plan, ICI Berlin paper, Deleuze course, funding report 2, thesis, andropobscenic concept — postponed task for... the future? The podcasts of these brilliant, sober academic men have paradoxically put me in a good mood. Nothing like Donna Haraway’s laughter on the Chthulucene, Paul Preciado’s high heels and dildos, Adrienne Rich’s ‘Politics of Location’, Gloria Anzaldúa ‘Letter to 3rd World Women Writers’, ‘Ladin Amefrican women’,1 as Lélia Gonzalez would define those from South America, long before the UN — and neoliberal — fabrication of the term Global South.

‘What strategies do we need as researchers from the South, situated as we are in the North?’, you asked in the call to this volume. Trying to escape from the complacency I fear,2 I re-write this letter, recollecting the introductory statement of Adrienne’s essay, where she announces the multiple territorialities and anchorages of her body and subjectivity, expressing a certain collapse in the political subject of feminism. A precise signifier appeared when you asked for positioned papers: ‘reduction’, in reference to the academic reception of Southern works due to the supposed particularity of their objects, as well as to the outcome of Eurocentric generalizations. One feeling was also named: frustration.

Location and the Political Subject: Positioned I and... Us?

Rich’s words laid down on paper are those ‘to be spoken’ in Europe, ‘having to be’ sought in the US. Clarity emerges within the instability of statements and syntax, within the absence of a defined reader of the notes — symptomatic of that of an identifiable political collectivity. The body as a starting point for political reflection and epistemological action, as it was for an entire generation since the late 1960s, didn’t solve Rich’s problem — it was just the beginning. The imperative or conditional tense marking the repeated hesitation towards what is going to be said, and her positionality, accompany the trouble using the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘we’, to whom Rich — and I — address ourselves. This woman, Adrienne, who is also a Marxist lesbian Jewish mother, ‘would have’ spoken as a ‘feminist “who happened” to be a white United States citizen’.3 Differing from the no nation or homeland woman depicted by Virginia Woolf,4 her position is defined not through the negation, ‘I have no country | I want no country | my country is the whole word’, but, instead, by the impossibility of fully determining the political subject she convokes. Coming from the geography of nation states to the matter of a body on the planet, writing from her paradoxically non-white whiteness, that of a Jewish body carrying in its cellular memory Nazism and the anti-communist rhetoric of the Cold War, she can also speak as a woman maker of theories — a white one, never raped or forcefully sterilized, and only minimally violated by the healthcare system. Listening to the black and feminist struggles and theories of the 1970s and 1980s, her theoretical-affective movement reveals, also, the scars of her body, mourning and feelings; and also, how the obsessive building of nationality through whiteness and its myths and fantasies on the origins of people, nations, families, and individuals — blood, sperm, milk — conceals the non-white constitution of an entire territory and its inhabitants.

‘White eye sees from the center’ — Adrienne does not entirely believe in that, but finds herself thinking so nonetheless. The recurring question, ‘Who are we?’, insistent in Rich’s paradoxical sentence juxtaposition, ‘You cannot speak for me | I cannot speak for us’,5 drives her to conclude with partial and provisional notes that I labelled, in my software, similarly to the tag applied to my Testo Junkie observations: ‘political subject of…’.

Feminism? Anthropocene? Androcene? Metabolic rupture? 99%?

Bypassing this question, Preciado, in this bodily essay, states: ‘I am not interested here in my feelings, as mine [...] but in how they are crossed [...] by that which emanates from the planet’s history, from the living species’ evolution, economic flows, residues of technological innovations, from the preparation of wars, the slave and merchandise trade.’6

If ‘white eye sees from the center’, I cannot stop wondering how brown are mine. Do they come from the Global South? Looking at the mirror, saisirai-je les couleurs of this transient gaze? Could I grasp, en esas miradas, the impressions of the crossings, from my corpo lésbico raised in a family living in a gated community (to put it simply, a gated family) to my academic education in philosophy, as a scholar, having lived — latina — in six different residences during the doctoral period? Wo ist denn der Spiegel (Where is the mirror)? Was it forgotten in Berlin, Paris, Toulouse, São Paulo... Itapevi? Did I ever possess it?

Frustration and the Other: Repositioning the Problem out of the Hall of Mirrors

As foreigners on Global North academic obstacle courses, according to our economic, cultural, symbolic, and social capital,7 we are turned from white into non-white by our speech and gestures. Systematic institutional oblivion is translated into many forms: bureaucratic stupidity and the racist and xenophobic dysfunctionality of administrations (ignorant of the existential-territorial value of visa-related matriculation);8 the unaccountable expenditure of hours, money, and energy with migration(s); the lack of social protection inherent to short-term labour contracts and scholarships — some of them entailing the national state’s territorial right over the holder’s body, supposedly to avoid brain drain.9 We move from one residence to another, one country to the next.

I would like, though, to propose a narrative beyond the regime of identities. Rather than using the European colonizer’s mirror and the optical Eurocentric metaphors to reflect on our identities — a major ongoing problem since the independence of our Latin American countries — let us close our eyes. As we walk through the Brandenburg Lake District, along the banks of the Seine, the Tagus, or Lake Maggiore, the images formed in these waters are different when spoken in the languages that weave our territories. Frustration on the ‘North’ side of the Atlantic is gold over there — here.

Having said this, I echo the questions posed by numerous authors. Has the identity of Southern thinkers served us, and for what? Have feminist epistemologies opened up space in the restricted universe of the human sciences? Have critical race studies accomplished the decolonization of knowledge?

Yes and no. My cat meowed — there.

Cases of Academic Precariousness

No one in my circle of PhD philosophers — Europeans and non-Europeans — aspires to a university professor position. Since the list is long, I summarize it: two Brazilian, white, middle-class heterosexual colleagues — a man and a woman — with PhD degrees, respectively, from the University of São Paulo and Humboldt University; two colleagues — white, heterosexual men — from the University of Toulouse — one Chilean, another Italian; three French colleagues, two of them normalien.ne.s, that is, from elite national institutions, one of whom is the daughter of one of the directors of a major French art museum. Among the PhDs from my undergraduate entourage who remained in Brazil, nobody has a permanent position at a federal university. One should consider that we were born in the eighties, an ‘old’ generation whose academic education lasted at least eleven years (different from the current cycles of eight years) and which has faced an expansion of the university system — its ‘democratization’, representing an immense creation of professor positions for colleagues of previous generations. Some results: one colleague teaches at a private high school, and two others became a shaman and a psychoanalyst. There is also a friend who is studying for the agrégation, another who got a two-year contract after a burnout arising from the end of her dissertation, hourly teaching contracts, and the fruitless seeking of postdoctoral positions in France, Switzerland, and Germany. Three others are constantly looking for postdocs and accumulating part-time jobs at the same time, related to academia or not. The two colleagues currently in Germany are focusing on the Habilitation — the first one is a straight middle-class guy with a child, unemployed, who works for free at a research institution to get rid of his scholarship debt, while the second one works part-time for the Swiss press.

As I can no longer believe that it is out of love for knowledge or compulsion to repeat that we work on weekends or during vacations; nor that we answer institutional emails at 11:30 p.m. due to obsessive neurosis… Since good-girl behaviour or a people-pleasing character does not explain why scholars renounce parenting in the name of science; nor can Stockholm syndrome explain donating our work for the collective good… Given that the death drive cannot account for the risk of unemployment after twenty academic years, it is healthy to consider the structural raison d’être of this culture of suffering. Its macroeconomic logic and micropolitics are neoliberalism on one side, and the university caste system on the other. #Foucault and Bourdieu.

The Brazilian Structural Fracture of the World: Not Workers, but Labouring Nomads

The ‘Becoming Black of the World’ and the ‘Brazilization’ or ‘favelization’ of the world are concepts created to grasp a peculiar neoliberal feitiço: the universalization of misery, through the very same mechanisms in the Global South and North. Thanks to the work of capital, racial slavery would have ‘now become the norm’ for subaltern humanity, according to Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe in 2013. This phrase might establish a dialogue with the diagnosis on the Brazilianization of the world, whose genealogy was established by Brazilian Marxist philosopher Paulo Arantes in 2004. Emerging in the 1990s from the pen of German sociologist Ulrich Beck and US thinkers,10 who were stunned by the outcome of neoliberalism’s final victory, this term described the mutation in labour relations and financialization-derived phenomena: the alternation between formal and informal labour cycles, the shrinking of the middle classes, the impoverishment of racialized and female populations, social immobility, general insecurity, and the escalation of state violence against its populations, which were once common in the Global South, landed in the North. The devouring dispossession machine of capitalist accumulation, which, despite being defined as ‘primitive’, has stubbornly persisted as a historical condition of modernity and ‘post’-modernity (industrial progress, welfare states, and citizenship in the ‘North’), produces, through intensified financial capital valorization independent of human labour, hungry, homeless, non-integrable populations. Living in the dumps or in favelas, they are reduced to the condition of social garbage described by Lélia Gonzalez in the 1970s, or of the enslaved whose body becomes ‘plant, and stone, and mud, and nothing’, as once wrote one of the greatest black literary portraitists of slaveholding Brazil, Machado de Assis. If raciality thus produces the ‘other of Europe’ as a being without determination,11 as Denise Ferreira da Silva and Paula Chakravartty described, this condition was that of the proletarian as a generic being described by Marx. ‘The proletarian is without property’, he writes in ‘Manifesto of Communist Party’, and proceeds:

His relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations; modern industry labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.12

Devoid of identifying predicates that correspond to social recognition signs, this proletarian condition would translate the exact measure of his material dispossession (which was not however thought by Marx in its violently gendered character, the dispossession proper to reproductive labour and rape).

Another day, reading The Guardian, I felt sorry. A woman teaching at the University of London lives in a tent13. The difficulties she has dressing properly to teach and dealing with the winter as a problem do not exist for the small sedentary caste of her colleagues. Nomadism, minimalism, Kindle, long-distance relationships are the portrait of the migrant intellectualized middle class, disgracefully chic. Docile, silent, and governable, we accept a form of exploitation that would be experienced with indignation by other professional sectors.

Managerial Protestantism Against the Welfare State ‘Parasites’: Making Knowledge-Philia Profitable

The university worldwide has been dismantled, but not by the ones often accused of interfering with its structure. Obtaining a permanent position is a governmentally produced delusion, if we consider some simultaneous processes and logics. Safeguarding local and genealogical specificities, they follow general — neoliberal — lines of precarization,14 and consist in the ‘democratization’ of access to education carried out since the early 2000s (that also represented the elitism of universities translated into the seals of excellence) and the maintenance of the caste-like university system. Wholeheartedly hoping that this statement was inaccurate, that it was just a bad day, premenstrual tension, or saturnine pessimism, I rapidly looked at some numbers underlying the neoliberal culture of academic suffering.

In Germany, only 12% of the academic staff is offered a permanent position after Habilitation and scholars often emigrate due to lack of prospects.15 The expansion of university education coincided with increased competition between institutions due to the predominantly public (80%) Drittmittel funding, which has enabled the winners in the race for funds to create graduate schools and Exzellenzclusters, has forbidden the establishment of full professorships, and has promoted short-term contracts. This explains why, among the ‘rest’ of staff, 38% are temporary (385,311 people), 50% of which hold contracts of barely one year.16 The prospect of a permanent position is but a fantasy for those who, recruited as Studentassistenz, are counted on the payroll of Berlin universities in the same way as furniture and utensils; for those who, hired as Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgabe (lecturer with special responsibilities), provide teaching at the expense of their own education; for those who, as Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter*in (scientific assistant), accumulate postdoctoral fellowships and short-term contracts for up to six years;17 for those who, as Privatzdozent*in (Adjunct Professor), having passed the Habilitation, are still selbstständig (self-employed). Each survivor of the long ordeal to Habilitation, who is one of among 10,000 people with privilege in terms of symbolic, cultural, and economic capital,18 intimately related to their ‘race’, gender, sexuality, age, and ability, will have to beat another four equally qualified people.19 Other factors exacerbate this fragile work situation: the loss of other social rights; the tiny number of union members in universities, contrasting with the 60% increase in membership for workers in other categories; the intransigence of the German state in negotiations with social movements opposed to academic precariousness; the small numerical importance of activists and the timidity of their demands.20 The Association of the Chancellors of the Universities of Germany justified the predominance of temporary employment contracts, presumably to create the needed vacancies for the future generation. The precarious staff is thus villainized for its claims against short-term contracts. If the demands of this class were heeded, it ‘would paralyse the continuous promotion of young scientists and thus undermine this special function of the science system and indirectly further exacerbate the shortage of skilled workers in the economy and society’.21

In France, the university also works through massive exploitation of precarious workers. 40% of non-tenured staff are responsible for administrative work, 70% of undergraduate teachers are precarious — officially paid below the minimum wage — and research is partly based on social assistance (Revenu de Solidarité Active, unemployment insurance, or undeclared work).22

In Brazil, university precarization affects professors in the public and private sectors. Professionals hired in private institutions — the largest part of the labour market (54%), owned by business groups that explore the expanding market of diplomas23 — are submitted to super-exploitative working conditions: required to ensure the instruction of different subjects in several courses — that is, unpaid working hours in developing new subjects — they also perform administrative tasks and are underpaid. More expensive professionals holding doctoral degrees are forced to resign. In the public service, precarization becomes the norm: the number of public competitions for professor positions has decreased; temporary hiring — as substitute lecturers deprived of rights — becomes a common practice adopted in several public institutions, federal and provincial.24 In addition, the reduction of public investments in those institutions has meant increased pressure on professors and researchers, who are in charge of raising funds with private and public powers, and who, to this end, must produce knowledge and publish according to the productivity standards imposed by regulatory agencies.

Scholars, as a class, do not protest enough against precariousness. The effects of this perpetual race for funds on all academic levels includes time spent responding to calls for proposals and bureaucratic procedures; the material, symbolic, and pedagogical dependencies on the professor; professorships being transformed into managerial positions; and the constitution of an academic habitus and a self-entrepreneurial subjectivation that obstructs, both within and beyond the universities, collective action, solidarity, and collaboration between researchers. The fantasy of becoming a professor and, thus, the need to please the holders of this position due to its rarity… all this devotion to the ethics of capitalism and neoliberal rationality points to desire25 — this is the astuteness of neoliberal ideology, unconscious suicidal servitude, and full occupation. #Dardot+Laval.

Capital’s Capture of Minority Agendas Through Labelling

Historically, there have been many feminist, black, decolonial, Marxist, anti-capitalist people struggling for the recognition of other epistemologies and corporealities and denouncing the productive and reproductive artificiality of the distinctions between domestic and public, the logic and effects of necroliberalism,26 and the regime of commodification and minorization of knowledge. One of our greatest enemies is the delegation of our critical potential to the private initiative. The market — sustainable, humanitarian, and sometimes ‘angry’ — functions as the only Subject through the creation of diversity and green labels, the appropriation of languages of empowerment and social justice tied to the image of an economy run by black people, women, and queer people.27 The dissemination of this imaginary accompanies the political silencing around quotas. Glass ceilings or leaky pipelines remain untouched in the North, as in the South. In German academia, women, whose representation has increased a timid 8% in ten years (15% to 23% from 2005 to 2015),28 are 32% less likely to follow a career path leading to a professorship, corresponding in 2019 to 31% of those with Habilitation and 26% of full professors.29 Considering the state and academic hegemonic categories used for surveys, women seem to have neither colour nor nationality, all possessing, as natural entities, the same straight pink vaginas. As for the Brazilian or French data, would it be naïve to imagine that they are similar to the German data?

Profitable diversity is the well-behaved, whitewashed version found in organic shops or greenmarkets, while so-called mother nature is collapsing, representing a risk to the not-so-sapiens species (although the intensity of damage is unequally distributed).30 In the context of the world crisis of representative democracy and the transformation of nation states into managers of the best scenario for the multiplication of finance, precarious living conditions, excessive work, increasing individualism, and the lack of class consciousness lead a substantial portion of the critical mass to lose spaces in which the common can be constructed — the university itself, unions, collectives. This is in the event that the critical mass aren’t purely and simply co-opted by companies whose highly qualified workforce is available at the lowest cost in universities, which also function as a publicity platform and consumer market. The environment — in crisis — does not escape from neoliberal governance and green coloniality: nature, already transformed into commodities, becomes a ‘supplier of services’, of carbon markets and assets linked to the Earth’s genetic codes listed in Amazonia.31 Thanks to the energetic alliance established between Germany and Brazil, the latter country will furnish energy that will guarantee the neutrality of European carbon emissions until 2050. Germany there sees an opportunity: low-cost green hydrogen from Brazil would allow it to decarbonize its steel mills after equipping the tropical country with photovoltaic and wind energy machines and establishing partnerships.

Many scientists indirectly play on the team of the mad tycoons on duty, with their colonial delirium of infinite progress, of zero-waste and no-loss technologies. In this financialized Andropobscene capitalism, in which environmental catastrophes, crises, and wars become opportunities for those who intend to make the universe their families’ corner, we cannot let technocracy impose itself as the only response to the fear of the fears: the extinction not of the species, but of utopias.

I wonder if it is suitable and desirable to seek to affirm our place as Southern researchers in this structure, weaving not-so-offensive micropolitical corrosive strategies.

A poem, then.

We aren’t in the bush to clear a path, nor are we ants.
Suddenly it dawned on us: our machete is a penknife.
Seeds cannot grow in a minefield;
here, we do something else.
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
We are many, no less.
It is not harvest time.
Hope and despair are useless to build houses.
Second World War bombs still explode.
We dwell inside them.
Are you — Nobody — too?
We are
not the same.
Exactly
in this place.
Don’t tell! they’d advertise — you know! How dreary — to be — Somebody!
One courage
upon
another.
It urges to be being.
We are
no buts.

With love,

B.

Notes

  1. In the 1980s, Lélia Gonzalez, a black philosopher and anthropologist, expanded the concept of ‘amefricanity’ beyond national borders, encompassing the narratives of black individuals and indigenous peoples across the Americas. She introduced the term ‘Ladina Amefrica’, borrowing it from a prior discussion about its origin, to denounce the erasure of African origins in the designation of the Latin American continent, which, being named this way, was associated with Latin European culture — what has been the effect of the historical process of whitening. Furthermore, her choice of the adjective ‘ladino’ instead of ‘latino’ in naming is the option for a signifier that, in ‘pretuguese’ (contraction of portuguese + black [preto] diasporic languages), means cunning, clever, and also slave or acculturated Indian. See Lélia Gonzalez, ‘A categoria político-cultural de amefricanidade’, in Por um feminismo afro-latino-americano: ensaios, intervenções e diálogos, ed. by Flávia Rios and Márcia Lima (Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2020), pp. 127–38.
  2. Gloria Anzaldúa, ‘Letter To 3rd World Women Writers’, in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, ed. by Cherne Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (Watertown, MA: Persephone Press, 1981), pp. 165–74 (p. 168).
  3. Adrienne Rich, ‘Notes Towards a Politics of Location’, in Blood, Bread and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979–1985, ed. by Adrienne Rich (London: Little Brown and Co.), pp. 211–31 (p. 211).
  4. Rich quotes Virginia Woolf’s statement from Three Guineas. Cf. Ibid.
  5. Mbembe states, in Critique of Black Reason, that neoliberal development increases the violence of the transformation of human populations into human-things under the reign of capital markets. He claims that for subaltern humanity racial slavery ‘has now become the norm’, which is independent of the centrality of racialization processes — nationalisms (and sexisms, which he does not address) function as vectors for the legitimation of the production of difference. See Achille Mbembe, Critique de la raison nègre (Paris: La Découverte, 2013), p. 14.
  6. Paul B. Preciado, Testo Yonqui. Sexo, Droga y Biopolítica (Barcelona: Espasa, 2008), p. 15; my translation.
  7. Cf. Pierre Bourdieu, ‘Le Capital social — notes provisoires’, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 31 (1980), pp. 2–3; Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron, La Reproduction: Éléments d’une théorie du système d’enseignement (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1970), p. 284; Pierre Bourdieu, La Distinction: Critique sociale du jugement (Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1979).
  8. Grada Kilomba, Plantation Memories: Episodes of Everyday Racism (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2021).
  9. Some national states like Brazil have neither a policy for the hiring of PhD graduates from doctoral funding programmes abroad nor a broader understanding of possible counterparts. These PhD graduates are contractually compelled to stay on national territory for a period equivalent to that of the scholarship. Cf. Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade, ‘Retorno compulsório’, Revista Pesquisa Fapesp, 267 (May 2018) <https://revistapesquisa.fapesp.br/retorno-compulsorio/> [accessed December 2022].
  10. Among these intellectuals are Edward Luttwak, Michael Lind, Christopher Lasch, and Richard Rorty. Cf. Paulo Arantes, A fratura brasileira do mundo: visões do laboratório brasileiro da mundialização (São Paulo: Editora 34, 2001).
  11. Paula Chakravartty and Denise Ferreira da Silva, ‘Accumulation, Dispossession, and Debt: The Racial Logic of Global Capitalism — An Introduction’, American Quarterly, 64.3 (September 2012), pp. 361–85 (p. 369).
  12. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, ‘Manifesto of the Communist Party’, in Marx/Engels Selected Works, ed. by Engels (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969), pp. 98–137 (p. 20).
  13. Anna Fazackerley, ‘“My Students Never Knew”: The Lecturer Who Lived in a Tent’, The Guardian, 30 October 2021,<https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/oct/30/my-students-never-knew-the-lecturer-who-lived-in-a-tent> [accessed 3 December 2022].
  14. We draw from the conceptions of Ruy Braga and Giovanni Alves, for whom the precariat is a social layer of the proletarian class, not a new social class. Cf. Ruy Braga, A política do precariado: do populismo à hegemonia lulista (São Paulo: Boitempo, 2012); Giovanni Alves, Trabalho e subjetividade: o espírito do toyotismo na era do capitalismo manipulatório (São Paulo: Boitempo, 2010).
  15. Kolja Lindner arrives at these figures about the composition of university professors and researchers from the numbers provided by the conference of university presidents in 2017. According to Lindner’s analyses of the ‘Gutachten zu Forschung, Innovation und Technologischer Leistungsfähigkeit Deutschlands’ (2014) and the ‘Statistische Daten und Forschungsbefunde zu Promovierenden und Promovierten in Deutschland’ (2018), between 1996 and 2011, 4,000 more departures than arrivals occurred. Between 2001 and 2010, the emigration rate of teacher-researchers was 13%. In 2010, 54% of teacher-researchers in the humanities and 48% of those in the social sciences declared their willingness to emigrate to find a position. Cf. Kolja Lindner, ‘Le Modèle allemand: précarité et résistances dans l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche d’outre-Rhin’, in Liberté de la recherche. Conflits, pratiques, horizons, ed. by Mélanie Duclos and Anders Fjeld (Paris: Editions Kimäe, 2019), pp. 209–18, available online <https://shs.hal.science/halshs-02496377/document> [accessed 5 October 2023], pp. 1–6 (pp. 1–2).
  16. Ibid, p. 1.
  17. This temporal limitation to hiring on a fixed-term contract in public service after the doctorate (and to six years of fixed-term contract before the doctorate) stems, according to Kolja Lindner, from the law Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (2007) (similar to the Sauvadet French law (2012)). Relying on the ‘Hochschulen in Zahlen 2017’, he shows that this law favours then-precarious modes of financing such as scholarships or vacations. Only third-party funding (public or private, which in 2017 accounted for 15% of the budget of the university system) is an exception to this rule. Cf. Ibid, p. 2.
  18. Following Lindner’s analysis and sources, I arrived at this approximate number considering that, in 2019, 6,609 people were in this situation and the average annual rise of the holders of Habilitation is 1,677. Cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, ‘Personal an Hochschulen 2016’, p. 37 <https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bildung-Forschung-Kultur/Hochschulen/Publikationen/Downloads-Hochschulen/personal-vorbericht-5213402168004.pdf?__blob=publicationFile> [accessed 15 December 2022] and Statistisches Bundesamt, ‘Zahl der Habilitationen 2017 gegenüber Vorjahr geringfügig um 0,3 % gestiegen’ <https://www.destatis.de/DE/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2018/07/PD18_242_213.html> [accessed 15 December 2022].
  19. Cf. Nicolas Pons-Vignon, ‘Reflections on the Paradox of German Academic Precarity’ (Kassel: ICDD, University of Kassel), online video recording, YouTube, 17 December 2019 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4TMikEHMr4> [accessed 15 December 2022].
  20. TVStud’s demands were, according to Lindner, timid: recognition as workers, not as furniture, and inflationary replacement. Mentioning the other movements created after 2016 (unter_bau13, Netzwerk für gute Arbeit in der Wissenschaft (NgAWiss), and Uni Kassel Unbefristet), he highlighted the little effect these demands had on political mobilization, based as they were on trade union negotiations typical of the German corporatist culture (priority being given to negotiations rather than to mobilization). Cf. Lindner, p. 5.
  21. Vereinigung der Kanzlerinnen und Kanzler der Universitäten Deutschlands, ‘Bayreuther Erklärung zu befristeten Beschäftigungsverhältnissen mit wissenschaftlichem und künstlerischem Personal in Universitäten’, September 2019 <https://www.uni-kanzler.de/fileadmin/user_upload/05_Publikationen/2017_-_2010/20190919_Bayreuther_Erklaerung_der_Universitaetskanzler_final.pdf> [accessed 15 December 2022].
  22. Cf. Université Ouverte, ‘La Précarité dans l’enseignement et la recherche’, 10 February 2020 <https://universiteouverte.org/2020/02/10/la-precarite-dans-lenseignement-et-la-recherche/> [accessed 15 May 2023].
  23. Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira, Censo da Educação superior — Notas Estatísticas — 2019 (Brasília: Ministério da Educação, 2019), p. 25.
  24. Antonio de Paula Bosi, ‘A precarização do trabalho docente nas instituições de ensino superior do Brasil nesses últimos 25 anos’, Educação & Sociedade, 28.101 (2007), p. 1503–23.
  25. Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot seek to understand neoliberal governance within a broader reflection on neoliberalism and the role of the university in the dynamics of neoliberal subject production, whose figure is that of the entrepreneur. They describe how the subjective logic of desire is inscribed onto the logics and mechanisms of the accumulation of capital, marked by the ideology of professionalization, competition, and innovation that is characteristic of a corporate culture present in European educational establishments since kindergarten. Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot, ‘Grande conférence (FQPPU)’, online video recording, YouTube, 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGFpK3LJGGk> [accessed 15 December 2022]. Cf. Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, La Nouvelle Raison du monde: essai sur la société néolibérale (Paris: La Découverte, 2010).
  26. Elsa Dorlin has forged this concept in dialogue with Achille Mbembe’s theorization of necropolitics and necroeconomics, the concept of the state of exception, and Foucault’s reflections on fascism. Cf. Elsa Dorlin, ‘Démocratie suicidaire’, Esprit, 12 (2018) <https://esprit.presse.fr/article/elsa-dorlin/democratie-suicidaire-41832> [accessed 15 December 2022].
  27. Sirma Bilge points out how the logic of knowledge production about intersectionality benefits white researchers and contributes to the erasure of the authors that posed the problems of the crossing of the forms of domination from the 1970s. See Sirma Bilge, ‘Le Blanchiment de l’intersectionnalité’, Recherches feministes, 28.2 (2015), pp. 9–32. Since the 1970s, theorists of neoliberalism like Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari from one side, and Michel Foucault from another, aiming to overcome the rigidity of structural diagnoses in the Communist Party and the risks of fascistization within leftist movements, have depicted, respectively, how the capitalist schizophrenic and schizophrenia-inducing machine converts everyone and everything into exploitable capital through identification, counting, registering; and how social control also produces the resistances and language of struggles.
  28. Cf. Pons-Vignon, ‘Reflections on the Paradox of German Academic Precarity’.
  29. Katrin Heinrichs and Hendrik Sonnabend, ‘Leaky Pipeline or Glass Ceiling? Empirical Evidence from the German Academic Career Ladder’, Applied Economics Letters, 2 (2022), pp. 1–5.
  30. Fernanda Rosário, Letícia Filho, and Victor Oliveira, ‘O perfil da COP-26 mostra que o debate sobre o clima ainda exclui as mulheres’, Alma preta, 3 September 2022 <https://almapreta.com.br/sessao/politica/so-macho-perfil-da-cop-mostra-que-o-debate-climatico-ainda-exclui-mulheres/> [accessed 15 December 2022].
  31. Cf. Michael Schmidlehner, ‘Banco de Códigos da Amazônia’, in Uwa’Kürü: dicionário analítico, ed. by Gerson de Albuquerque and Agenor Pacheco (Rio Branco: Edufac & Nepan Editora, 2020), pp. 28–37.

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