Skip to main content
  • Book
  • © 2016

Neoliberalization, Universities and the Public Intellectual

Species, Gender and Class and the Production of Knowledge

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

About this book

This book employs an an intersectional feminist approach to highlight how research and teaching agendas are being skewed by commercialized, corporatized and commodified values and assumptions implicit in the neoliberalization of the academy. The authors combine 50 years of academic experience and focus on species, gender and class as they document the hazardous consequences of seeing people as instruments and knowledge as a form of capital. Personal-political examples are provided to illustrate some of the challenges but also opportunities facing activist scholars trying to resist neoliberalism. Heartfelt, frank, and unashamedly emotional, the book is a rallying cry for academics to defend their role as public intellectuals, to work together with communities, including those most negatively affected by neoliberalism and the corportatization of knowledge.  


“We all know that performance and budgetary pressures in the modern university constrain research and education agendas. Taylor and Fraser push further by exploring who is marginalised in the process and articulating a cogent argument to re-value solidarity, diversity and creativity in our engagement with the public sphere.” Professor Stewart Lockie, James Cook University, Australia)

“Drawing on feminism, class politics and multi-species perspectives, this much-needed book defends the role of the public academic and advocates innovative ways to individually and collectively resist within the constraints of the neoliberal university. It is essential reading for those seeking to understand and challenge oppression within and outside the academic realm.” (Donna Baines, Chair of Social Work and Social Policy, The University of Sydney, Australia)

“In the best tradition of activist scholarship, Heather Fraser and Nik Taylor interrogate and challenge academic complicity with neoliberal practices in the modern university. They move beyond moral indignation by grounding their resistance in stories of their own and others’ pushing back against neoliberal values that undermine independent scholarship and collegiality. In so doing, they also make a major contribution to the intersections between speciesism and other forms of oppression. This important and timely book reminds us that we all must act against the neoliberalization of our everyday practices to create more caring and socially just workplaces.” (Bob Pease is Professor of Social Work at the University of Tasmania, Australia and author of “Undoing Privilege: Unearned Advantage in a Divided World”)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

    Heather Fraser

  • Serials Central Library, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

    Nik Taylor

About the authors

Heather Fraser is Senior Lecturer at Flinders University, Australia and is a feminist social work academic with twenty-five years teaching subjects such as human rights based social work practice and anti-oppressive practice. She has published in community work, narrative analysis, critical social work and social action and advocacy, and more recently, human-animal studies and animal assisted social work.  

Nik Taylor is Associate Professor at Flinders University, Australia and has been researching, and advocating for, other animals for over 15 years. Nik has published widely on the treatment of animals; links between human aggression and animal cruelty; slaughterhouses; meat-eating, and, animal shelter work. Her most recent books include The Rise of Critical Animal Studies (ed., with Richard Twine), and Humans, Animals and Society.

Bibliographic Information