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Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education

Resistance, Reclaiming, Organizing, and Black Lives Matter in Education


Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Erik Juergensmeyer

Fighting Academic Repression and Neoliberal Education is a cutting-edge investigation of the alarming state of education today. This practical how-to handbook gives readers tactics and strategies to organize and challenge forces that threaten liberatory critical education. Drawn from scholars and activists from across the world, the fifteen chapters guide readers through a strategic method of understanding the academic industrial complex and corporate education in the twenty-first century. Education is being hijacked by banks and corporations that are tearing apart the foundational fabric of academic freedom, resulting in mass standardized education and debt for all students and furthering racial inequity. This is a must-read for anyone interested in democracy, education, social justice, critical pedagogy, and Black Lives Matter.

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Preface (Emma Pérez)


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We are in a crisis. This explicit crisis has always been at the root of US history molded by settler colonialism, slavery, worker exploitation, gender inequities, ableism, and LGBTQI negation—all to privilege white, colonialist, Christian, heteronormative values in the twenty-first century. The crisis disrupts every aspect of our lives—health care, economic parity, the environment, and education while advancing the prison industrial complex and anti-immigrant detention centers. In the aftermath of cultural uprisings of the 1960s and 1970s, we have seen the pendulum swing so far to the right that the middle is now what the right used to be. Extremists, who despise all that is different from their purported mainstream of whiteness, have set a neoliberal, capitalist agenda while cheering “make America great again,” longing for their own brand of the 1950s unquestioned authority. But here’s the thing: history has revealed that strike activity of the 1920s, union organizing of the 1930s and 1940s, civil rights protests of the 1950s, and the student, gay, Black, Chicana/o, Native, and women’s movements of the 1960s have pushed against privileged authoritarians who enforce profiteering at the core of all they value. In fact, if we follow the money, we see quite clearly a history of white colonialist choreography that justifies racism, misogyny, and economic injustice.

When I landed in the Ethnic Studies Department at University of Colorado (CU), Boulder in 2003, I was...

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