Dodgy Scholars

“Dodgy Scholars: Resisting the Neoliberal Academy,” co-authored with Blu Buchanan. In Erica Kohl-Arenas and Robyn M Rodriguez (guest eds), “Public Scholarship, Place, and Proximity,” PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America, Volume 5, Issue 1, August 2018

This dialogue uses Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s writings on the “undercommons” as a launching point to discuss our experiences with navigating the neoliberal university. From within our respective institutional contexts, we explore what it means to be a “dodgy scholar,” one who maintains just enough credibility within the system to subvert its purposes and boundaries. We raise questions, for ourselves and for our readers, seeking to engage with public scholarship in an era of precarity. We ask: How are we claiming the politics and experiences of hybrid spaces for ourselves? How does care-based organizing challenge the neoliberal university? How do we draw connections between our academic life experiences and the academy as a whole? And how might we reclaim and resist the cooptation of language and strategies built out of liberation movements by counter-publics? We conclude by asking how we, as a collective, may inform this engagement further.