The University Now: A Provocation in Five Readings


  • David McCallam University of Sheffield


This essay in five sections grew out of a critical-theory reading group set up in French and Francophone Studies at the University of Sheffield, in 2017. The group was called “La Perruque,” a term borrowed from Michel de Certeau (1984, pp. 25-26) who defines it as:


the worker’s own work disguised as work for his [sic] employer. It differs from pilfering in that nothing of material value is stolen. It differs from absenteeism in that the worker is officially on the job. […] The worker who indulges in la perruque actually diverts time (not goods, since he only uses scraps) from the factory for work that is free, creative and precisely not directed toward profit.


So we were at university, on university time and pay, thinking against the university as it currently operates…





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