© 2016

Accelerating Academia

The Changing Structure of Academic Time


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Filip Vostal
    Pages 11-33
  3. Filip Vostal
    Pages 115-141
  4. Filip Vostal
    Pages 168-195
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 200-242

About this book


The era of a 'slow-paced' academia characterized by leisurely tempos of research and pedagogy has gone. Academia is now an intensely social site, and the boundaries between capitalist dynamics and academic life have become blurred. Academic workloads are increasing as academics have to deal with an ever-growing number of tasks, information, obligations, texts, procedures and connections. Yet the time available for carrying out these activities remains relatively constant, and even seems to be decreasing. Simultaneously, the 'will to accelerate' has emerged as a significant cultural and structural force in knowledge production, propelled by competitiveness and the drive for excellence. Filip Vostal examines the changing character of academic time, and questions the nature of this acceleration. Without challenging its negative implications, Vostal argues that we cannot fully understand this phenomenon unless we scrutinize its positive dimensions, and ask why people opt for acceleration, and how and why the compulsion to accelerate features in higher education policy discourse.


Knowledge Capitalism Sociology Higher Education Policy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of SciencesCzech Republic

About the authors

Filip Vostal is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic.

Bibliographic information


“The present-day university has become a hot topic in several sociology, anthropology and philosophy subfields. Filip Vostal’s debut monograph on the institutional transformations and subjective experiences of (social) scientists at universities is a welcome addition to the burgeoning interdisciplinary area of critical studies of science, higher education and academia.” (Milena Kremakova, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 31 (2), March, 2018)

“I recommend Vostal’s book highly. He gives us considered, inquiring reflections across a broad literature on neoliberalism and speed at universities, and is critical, fair and constructive. The empirical research is limited by the range of interviewees, but provides revealing information that brings a fuller picture and is the foundation for further research that is more inclusive. Vostal’s work is a basis for pursuing solutions and alternatives.” (Luke Martell, LSE Review of Books,, August, 2017)