The Neoliberal Life
Francis Russell, Geoffrey Power-King, Maddy Magladry, Eva Bujalka, and Amy Hickman
Pig Melon︎︎︎
Friday October 1, Saturday October 2, and Sunday October 3, 10am–3pm.

This course will provide an introduction to the concept of neoliberalism by exploring its impact on our everyday lives and our understanding of life—especially birth and health. Neoliberalism is increasingly understood as the dominant mode of governance for the countries of the global north. Through its emphasis on competition, marketisation, and individualism, the political and economic project of neoliberalism has seen a radical restructuring of everyday life. Moreover, by way of an ever-expanding commodification of everyday life, the neoliberal project has had a powerful impact on the way we understand life—both in terms of what it is, and in terms of what makes it worth living.

Over six sessions in three days, this course will begin to explain the evolutionary pseudo-science that became increasingly central to the neoliberal project. Beyond this, we will explore the commodification of birth through a critical exploration of surrogacy; the influence of online “lifestyle gurus” in the promotion of the neoliberal way of life; the transformation of sanity into “mental wealth” as a form of human capital; and the marketisation of knowledge and truth.

  1. Hayek, Biologism, and the Evolution of the Market
  2. The Neo-Spencerists: Survival of the Fittest in the Market Society
  3. The Reproduction of Neoliberalism: Birth, Surrogacy and Commodity
  4. The Ecstasy of Influence: Wellness, Lifestyle, and Individualism
  5. Mental Wealth: Sanity and Profitability
  6. I Want to Believe: Conspiracy, Pseudo-science, and the Marketplace of Ideas

Enrolments are now closed.

Instructor biographies
Dr Francis Russell researches the political and philosophical implications of madness, alongside conducting broader research into neoliberal culture.
Geoffrey Power-King currently works in education. His research interests include Russian literature and political philosophy.
Dr Eva Bujalka is an academic and writer whose research and practice explore the intersection of cultural theory and creative writing.
Dr Mad Magladry is a cultural studies scholar whose research interests centre around gender, sexuality and feminism in wellness and fitness cultural practices.
Amy Hickman researches the politics and philosophy of biomedicine and technology, particularly those of immunity and birth.