Fall Faculty Colloquium 2016
The Cultural Lives of Neoliberalism
Director: Benjamin Chappell, American Studies
Examples of questions that participants may bring to the colloquium include:
• How is mobility, a key feature of modernity, reshaped in a neoliberal framework—for example, how does the priority on free markets square with nation-states
that may be more inclined to regulate the movement of people across their borders than capital and goods?
• How do notions of “management” and “leadership” drive educational objectives and their execution today, with what effect on ideas of educated citizenship?
• When neoliberal management terms like “disruption” stand as tokens of progress and discovery, what is the fate of accumulated archives of knowledge, or of
the cultural traditions of demographic minorities?
• Have neoliberal patterns in administration made possible the return of organizational forms such as indentured labor, debtors’ prisons, the poll tax, or others previously presumed to have fallen by the wayside of progress?
• How does the notion of a rational market shape assumptions about the cultural impact of the internet-mediated “crowd” and its capacity to determine truth and value?
• What notions of creativity have coincided with the rise of the entrepreneur as a model of imagination and productive energy? Have the arts been shaped by this, or responded to it thematically?
• What work have the ideas of rational markets and competitive self-interest as universal human nature done to generate support for positivist epistemologies, as
opposed to the “situated knowledges” or culturally specific standpoints proposed by critical theorists in the 1980s?