One of the strangest projects of privatization and commodification in the early twentieth-first century has been the movement to commoditize scholarship. Two versions have been surprisingly powerful. In Europe administrators demand assessment exercises that reduce the work of scholars to a number, a sum total for a life of intellectual exchange. In the United States, scholars are asked to become entrepreneurs, producing ourselves as brands and seeking stardom from the very first days of our studies, when we know nothing. Both projects seem to me bizarre –and suffocating. By privatizing what is necessarily a collaborative work, these projects aim to strangle the life out of scholarship.

anna löwenhaupt tsing

Tsing, A. L. (2015). The Mushroom at the End of the World. Princeton University Press.