The University of the Spectacle

by James Compton

westerncomptonThe whole life of those universities in which modern conditions of managerialism prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. All scholarship that was once directly lived has become mere representation.

I am reminded of this sad state of affairs every time I walk on campus. As students, staff and faculty attempt to go about their scholarly lives we are confronted by gigantic Orwellian images. Replacing the single image of Big Brother, looking down upon us are businessmen in suits, C-list reality-TV celebrities, and other cheerleaders of ‘entrepreneurialism.’ “Be extraordinary” they command.

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