Bibliopolitics: The History of Notation and the Birth of the Citational Academic Subject

  • Matthew Sharpe
  • Kirk Turner
Keywords: bibliometrics, neoliberalism, biopower, notation, metric power

Abstract

The paper builds upon a growing body of critical research on the proliferating use of bibliometrics as a means to evaluate academic research, but brings to it a specifically Foucauldian, genealogical approach. The paper has three parts. Part 1 situates bibliometrics as a new technology of neoliberal, biopolitical governmentality, alongside the host of other ‘metrics’ (led by biometrics) that have emerged in the last two decades. Part 2 analyses bibliometrics’ antecedents in prior notational practices in the Western heritage, highlighting how forms of noting have almost always had political valences tied to projects of control or subversion. Part 3 then delineates the specific features of bibliometrics as a new form of notation, highlighting the latest forms of academic subjectivity bibliometrics suppose and increasingly are summoning into being.

Author Biographies

Matthew Sharpe
Author infoMatthew Sharpe, PhDAssociate ProfessorFaculty of Arts and EducationDeakin UniversityAustraliamatthew.sharpe@deakin.edu.au
Kirk Turner
Kirk TurnerPhD candidateFaculty of Arts and EducationDeakin UniversityAustraliakirk.turner@deakin.edu.au

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Published
2018-10-22