Jennifer Doyle

Jennifer Doyle is an American writer, art historian, blogger, and Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Hold it Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art (2013) and Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire (2006). In 2012, Doyle won an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital | The Warhol Foundation. She was also the 2013-2014 Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of the Arts, London.

campus-sexCampus Sex, Campus Security

By Jennifer Doyle
The management of sexuality has been sewn into the campus. Sex has its own administrative unit. It is a bureaucratic progression.

—from Campus Sex, Campus Security

The psychic life of the university campus is ugly. The idyllic green quad is framed by paranoid cops and an anxious risk-management team. A student is beaten, another is soaked with pepper spray. A professor is thrown to the ground and arrested, charged with felony assault. As the campus is fiscally strip-mined, the country is seized by a crisis of conscience: the student makes headlines now as rape victim and rapist. An administrator writes a report. The crisis is managed.

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10-Jennifer-Doyle-Campus-SecurityCampus Security

Each administrative digest of “an incident” fracks an encounter between subjects to convert an outrage into a policy. Anger is turned into violence; violence is turned into administrative process. University resources—time, energy, thought and compassion— are absorbed by a managerial world averse to the inter- personal, lateral and dynamic work of education. The latter is full of risk. The classroom is the university’s soft flesh.

Published on the occasion of the 2014 Whitney Biennial

 

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