This chapter addresses debilitating impacts of neoliberal academia and ways to resist it; and it does so through critical analysis of disability studies. With insights of disability studies, it pushes the conversations not to stop at how oppressed academics are under the neoliberal regime, but to ask what it means to participate in higher education which is traditionally contested for its ablism and saneism. As neoliberalism came to corporatize education, academics’ are evaluated based on financial value of their work and their capacities to fulfill its expectation. Through a concept of hyper-productivity—one of the key characteristics of neoliberal academia—this chapter describes how expectation of neoliberal academia comes to be internalized as desire or a standard to measure one’s value as academics. Using the social model of disability, this chapter untangles how the expectation for hyper-productivity is constructed as well as how such neoliberalization amplifies ableism and sanism in academia. Finally, examples of disability-centered activism organizing are shared to provide ways to improve mainstream education justice movements to be more accessible and inclusive. Significance of collective care is reviewed as a way to sustain academics as they fight for education justice and to actualize democratic ways of living.


Neoliberalism Higher education Collective care 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Disability and Human Development, Gender and Women’s StudiesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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