Troubling False Care

Towards a More Revolutionary ‘Care Revolution’ in the University

  • Ann E Bartos Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University
Keywords: Care, academy, false hope, false care, university


Despite sustained scholarly attention on care ethics across the social sciences, little attention has been paid to the politics of care practiced in the Western academy. In this provocation, I bring care ethics into dialogue with critical pedagogy to explore seemingly benign caring practices in the university. I draw on analyses of ‘false hope’ to provide a framework to better identify and nuance examples of ‘care’ throughout universities. While some caring practices in the academy may provide opportunities for resistance to its neoliberal corporatisation, I argue that examples of ‘false care’ and even uncaring practices can simultaneously flourish. More attention is needed by care scholars to unpack and untangle fraught caring relations throughout the academy in order to help our universities become more caring, equitable and inclusive.


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How to Cite
Bartos, A. (2021). Troubling False Care. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 20(3), 312-321. Retrieved from