Jessica Ramirez goes to the
Johannesburg Solstice Critical Theory Workshop
The short piece excerpted here is from a novel-in-progress provisionally entitled, The Academic Gamble, a take-no-prisoners style satire of global academia which can be humorous at times but often leaves a bitter aftertaste as is the purpose of parody. The larger work primarily lampoons US elite universities and their professoriate in the context of deepening inequalities brought about by neoliberalism (widespread precarisation of academic labour, deepening socioeconomic divisions between private elite
universities and struggling state universities and inner-city colleges, etc.). The novel is written in the third person and is told from the point of view of multiple characters who often have different opinions on the same events but for the purposes of this excerpt, the story is focalised through the eyes of a naïve young American postgrad and is limited to a few short episodes of her time in South Africa.