Double Negative: When the Neoliberal Meets the Toxic

  • Martin Andrew
Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)


This chapter utilises allegory to tell an autoethnography of changing academic identity from disillusionment to hope. The critical, embodied autoethnography, utilised as a tool of creative resistance, draws on the discourses of the author’s career including Renaissance dramas and autopsy literature to create a visceral, authentic story of living out experience at a fictitious Australian university situated at the intersection of endgame neoliberalism and extreme workplace toxicity, wilfully destructive to academic identities and communities. Characters from the fourteenth century play, The Castle of Perseverance allegorise and re-embody the autoethnography, fashioning an ethical, counter-discursive methodology of narrative repositioning. It offers the space of the ‘paraversity’ as reflective, safe, identity-affirmative place for reclaiming the value and integrity of the practical and collective work of knowledge and resistance.


Allegory Autoethnography Creativity Neoliberalism Workplace toxicity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Andrew
    • 1
  1. 1.Capable New Zealand Otago PolytechnicDunedinNew Zealand

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