Academic Barbarism, Universities and Inequality

  • Michael O’Sullivan

Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Michael O’Sullivan
    Pages 1-12
  3. Michael O’Sullivan
    Pages 13-30
  4. Michael O’Sullivan
    Pages 31-67
  5. Michael O’Sullivan, Michael Yat-him Tsang
    Pages 120-142
  6. Michael O’Sullivan
    Pages 143-146
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 147-175

About this book


The image of the university is tarnished: economists argue that modern universities foster 'meritocratic extremism'; educationalists say they perpetuate inequality; novelists describe for us the 'barbaric rituals' of academics and philosophers say universities are engaged in 'practices of barbarism'. This book examines how these aspects of the modern university have transformed its educational philosophy and modes of transmission to the extent that the university fosters a form of academic barbarism. New theories of barbarism have emerged alongside a philosophical discourse that is redefining identity in terms of the posthuman and the beastly. Our philosophers are attempting to rescue back what remains of the human as barbarism takes hold. This book examines how recent philosophies of education, new readings of the economics of the university, new technologies affecting research and access, and contemporary novelists' representations of university life are all describing a global university that has given up on its promise of greater educational equality.


Universities Inequality Higher Education Barbarism Meritocracy Academic University Roberto Bolaño W. G. Sebald education higher education transmission university

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael O’Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.The Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-71447-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-54761-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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