1st Edition

Artificial Intelligence in the Capitalist University
Academic Labour, Commodification, and Value

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 5, 2021
ISBN 9780367533779
November 5, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Using Marxist critique, this book explores manifestations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education and demonstrates how it contributes to the functioning and existence of the capitalist university.

Challenging the idea that AI is a break from previous capitalist technologies, the book offers nuanced examination of the impacts of AI on the control and regulation of academic work and labour, on digital learning and remote teaching, and on the value of learning and knowledge. Applying a Marxist perspective, Preston argues that commodity fetishism, surveillance, and increasing productivity ushered in by the growth of AI, further alienates and exploits academic labour and commodifies learning and research. The text puts forward a solid theoretical framework and methodology for thinking about AI to inform critical and revolutionary pedagogies.

Offering an impactful and timely analysis, this book provides a critical engagement and application of key Marxist concepts in the study of AI’s role in higher education. It will be of interest to those working or researching in higher education.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Capitalist Universities, AI and value 3. AI and the subsumption of academic labour 4. The Pixarfication of Higher Education 5. Disaster capitalism and time in the virtual university 6. AI, existential threat and the capitalist university 7. AI and the end of the capitalist university


View More



John Preston is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Essex, UK.