Call for Papers

Volume 11: Academic Freedom on the Managed Campus

"It is remarkable how quickly all strata in public universities—staff, faculty, administrators, students—have grown accustomed to the saturation of university life by neoliberal rationality, metrics, and principles of governance.”–Wendy Brown

For its next volume, scheduled for publication in fall 2020, the AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom seeks original, scholarly articles exploring the ways the myriad managerial techniques in use on campuses today affect academic freedom and democratic faculty governance. A substantial component of skyrocketing administrative costs invest in managerial technologies applying to all aspects of campus life: from online learning systems, to course assessment and student evaluation of faculty, to equity evaluations and seminars about workplace harassment. At a time of pronounced austerity in higher education, many colleges and universities dedicate hundreds of thousands of dollars to private consulting. The increasing reliance on these multiple managerial technologies is unregulated by and often beyond the reach of democratic governance by, or even input from, faculty, staff, and students. Profits are made, often at the expense of democracy on campus.

We will consider any essay on the topic of academic freedom, but are especially interested in the following topics:

  • Affect management: How do managerial technologies create affective, social, or political fissures among faculty, staff, students, and administrators? What kinds of disciplinary powers regulate social relations or promote self-regulation—with negative impacts on academic freedom in the classroom or with regard to research practices? How do managerial practices open up new forms of relationships or collective resistance?

  • Bullying: We encourage submissions that continue the focus of 2019’s volume 10 and engage the themes of the volume 11 call for papers in terms of academic freedom and power relations on campus. How does the presence of specific managerial technologies affect existing inequities on campus? Can such technologies be deployed to address instances of inequality and bullying, or do they tend to enhance them?

  • Precarity, identity, and labor: How do managerial technologies reinforce extant social and labor hierarchies in the university? To what extent do the metrics and outcomes generated by these firms deploy inequalities of race, class, gender, national origins, and sexuality? How do managerial technologies transform the academic workplace?

  • The academic corporate military complex: Where do these managerial technologies come from? What are their political and economic orientations? What ideological ends do they serve?

  • Campus discourse: What is the impact of managerial technologies on practices of academic freedom on campus? How do governance bodies, unions, and student and faculty organizations respond to their presence? How do managerial technologies respond to ongoing discourses about civility and freedom of speech on campus?

  • Globalization: How has the increasing presence of managerial technology on campus affected academic freedom globally?  To what extent is the rise of popular and governmental authoritarianism a factor? As the “academic corporate military complex” becomes transnational, how might international solidarity movements respond to these challenges?

  • Private consulting and university discourse: The rise of private educational consulting firms and their use by university and college administrations brings corporate discourse into key institutional decisions. This raises questions about power and civility from actors often not publicly represented in governance processes. How does corporate discourse affect questions of academic freedom?


Electronic submissions of no more than 8,000 words should be sent to jaf@aaup.org by February 3, 2020, and must include an abstract of about 150 words. Please read our editorial policy at https://www.aaup.org/about-jaf prior to submitting. We welcome submissions by any and all faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars. If you have any questions, contact faculty editor Rachel Ida Buff at rbuff@uwm.edu (please do not send submissions to this address).

While this is an academic journal with submissions subject to peer review, we welcome innovative and journalistic prose styles. The journal uses the seventeenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, and authors should anticipate that, if an article is accepted for publication, it will need to be put into Chicago style. Read more about the Journal.