IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Foucault, writing and the contemporary university: A grim celebration

19 June 2024, 10:00 am–4:00 pm

Student carrying books. Image: Element5 Digital via Unsplash

Join this event to hear speakers draw on Foucault’s writing to explore the experiences of writing and working in contemporary higher education.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Patrick Bailey


106 Roberts Building
UCL Main Campus
Torrington Place

Foucault offers a number of different perspectives on the role and value of writing in the life of the individual, including his own. These involve explorations of  the nature and value of critique and truth telling as well as a consideration of writing as a way of caring for and crafting the self.

In this event, speakers draw on his thoughts to speak on the nature of academic writing and the challenges of life in a neoliberal academy. Topics include:

  • The genealogical method as a call to arms,
  • The role and purpose of academic writing particularly in relation to self-formation,
  • Decolonial writing and the role of the intellectual,
  • The role of writing in the life of the academic as both a technology of the self and a form of care of the self,
  • The complexities of using ‘difficult’ theory in research designed to impact policy,
  • The investor imaginary of HE and the ‘assetisation’ of writing and study, and
  • Research and survival in a neoliberal university.


  • Patrick Bailey,
  • Alice Bradbury,
  • Bronwen Jones,
  • Sarah Kerr,
  • Adam Lang,
  • Francesca Peruzzo, and
  • Guy Roberts-Holmes.

In Conversation

  • Stephen J Ball, and
  • Mark Olssen.

This in-person event will be particularly useful for anyone who is interested in Foucault and related research.

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