Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education: Marc Spooner and James McNinch write about their new edited book – Social Theory Applied, 22 May 2018


Marc Spooner and James McNinch write about their new edited book: Spooner & McNinch (2018) Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education(

It is an exciting time of possibility as research approaches continue to be contested, disrupted, and broadened to include a wide variety of promising departures from orthodoxy. What has been labelled, in various instances, posthumanism, new materialism, the ontological turn, the affective turn, and/or post-qualitative research join ongoing developments in community-engagedparticipatory, decolonizing, place-based, and Indigenous research approaches.

Yet, just as these enticing possibilities invite us to expand our research in ways unimagined just a decade ago, a parallel counterbalancing shift towards a ubiquitous neoliberal and accountability-focused culture – both in the academy and in society – imperils these promising developments. As audit culture and governmentality spread, they give rise to a new managerialism set on measuring us against rigid conceptions of research and impact, regardless of how inappropriate, unethical, or deleterious such constricting measures may be to ourselves and our communities.  Ultimately, at stake, is the very notion of what can be considered knowledge itself.

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