Professor of Anthropology Chaise LaDousa and Ilana Gershon of Indiana University recently co-edited a special issue of Culture, Theory and Critique (volume 60, issue 1) to honor the pioneering work of Bonnie Urciuoli, the Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Anthropology Emerita, in the study of neoliberal institutional and social formations, especially in higher education.
Titled Instruction and Improvisation under Neoliberalism: Special Issue in Honor of Bonnie Urciuoli, the issue includes articles that engage with Urciuoli’s work by considering neoliberal discourse in various institutional contexts.
Urciuoli has written a number of particularly influential articles on the ways in which neoliberal discourses have come to organize the work of higher education. Her work has considered the voices of students in particularly empathetic detail.
Her recent publications include “Neoliberalizing Markedness: The Interpellation of ‘Diverse’ College Students” published in Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory (2016), and The Experience of Neoliberal Education, which she edited, published by Berghahn Books in 2018.
Contributors to the special issue echoed the thoughts of many who have been the beneficiaries of Urciuoli’s generosity. In the acknowledgments to her article, Gershon wrote, “Bonnie Urciuoli has consistently made my life better in countless ways through her generosity since the day we met in 1985. I owe her so much more than the labour congealed in a special issue.”
LaDousa wrote in his acknowledgments, “People like the contributors are well situated to think about higher education. This is, in part, because of Bonnie Urciuoli’s work.”
Urciuoli is currently working on a monograph on neoliberal discourses in higher education, among other projects.