Book: Constructing Data in Religious Studies
Chapter: 16. Labor: Finding the Devil in Indiana Jones: Mythologies of Work and the State of Academic Labor
This chapter approaches “the academy” as form of data in order to interrogate and evaluate the current state of academic labor, particularly in twenty-first century North America. Drawing on discourse analysis, the essay examines how governing academic norms and practices sustain and exacerbate the structural and material challenges facing the most vulnerable academic laborers today. In particular, the author explores how academic labor is socially constructed through the mobilization of various “mythologies of work” and even through critical genres such as “quit lit” that seek to expose perceived injustices. The enactment of these discourses, the chapter argues, ultimately reinforces the status quo and serves the interests of academic elites.