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Contemporary Campus Life: Transformation, Manic Managerialism and Academentia

Keyan G. Tomaselli
Contemporary Campus Life: Transformation, Manic Managerialism and Academentia
ISBN: 978-1-928246-26-8
ISBN: 978-1-92824-644-2
2021/244 pages
Distributed for Best Red, an imprint of HSRC Press
"A witty, engaging critique of the impact of unfettered managerialism and the havoc it has wrought in South African academic institutions." —Mbongeni Malaba, Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa

"As a 'court jester,' Tomaselli challenges all academics to reflect on their lives as academics at contemporary universities and urges them to become academics again." —Whitey van der Linde, Acta Commercii

"Thoroughly enjoyable.... Tomaselli's most exquisite book offers extremely valuable insights into the working conditions of a South African academic experiencing the slow but steady rise of neoliberalism and managerialism." —Thomas Klikauer and Meg Young, Australian Universities' Review

"Arguably South Africa's most perceptive cultural studies scholar, Keyan Tomaselli takes the reader on a decidedly uncomfortable, insightful, and entertaining ride through the managerial university to show us, barefaced, what we have become.... In the mindless pursuit of efficiency, productivity, and measurement, we have lost sight of the broader purposes of education and the intrinsic value of academic work.... Tomaselli has produced one of the best available satires of academic life.”   —Jonathan Jansen, President, Academy of Science of South Africa

"Tomaselli looks critically, and at times humourously, at the many forces that come to bear on our higher education system today, not just in South Africa, but also the world over. He reminds us that there are many academic principles that are still important—that we need to give even more attention to—as we contemplate change, lest a university cease to be a university."  —Nithaya Chetty, University of the Witwatersrand


Keyan Tomaselli's accessible critique of market-driven neoliberalism is offered as a metaphor to analyze the excesses, contradictions, and obstructions in contemporary university governance. With incisive satirical humor, Tomaselli delves into the quirks of  education administrative systems to show how manic management negatively affects teaching, research, science, and reasoning—and must be brought into check to preserve the very nature of the academy.


Keyan G. Tomaselli is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Johannesburg, as well as professor emeritus and UKZN Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.


  • Hacking Through Academentia.
  • Cash Cows, e-Cow-nomics, and Branding.
  • The Backlog Syndrome.
  • Of Science and Souls.
  • Of Bulls and Bears.
  • Publication, Rankings, and Abacus Management.
  • Writing Africa and Identity: Shifting (Our)Selves.
  • Of Colonialism and Capture.
  • Cartoons, Black Face, and Social Critique.
  • Culture Can Kill.
  • The Academentia Sunrise.