The power of dark academia : exposing the violent relationship students have with the academy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica L. Golden (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Danielle Bouchard

Abstract: This research completes a textual analysis of three prominent novels in the dark academia subgenre and how the genre critiques academia’s relationship with students: one of exploitation and violence. The novels are, If We Were Villains (2017) by M.L. Rio, Ninth House (2019) by Leigh Bardugo, and Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution (2022) by R.F. Kuang. Research shows that students can be both a consumer and laborer in the eyes of the academy. As universities shift to a more neoliberal and capitalistic mindset, the student’s knowledge, and therefore labor, becomes more profitable to the university. Research found that that the genre shows how the university uses isolation, dependency, narratives surrounding self-worth and value, and outsider/other identities as a way to exploit students for their knowledge production and labor. As the genre expands and continues to make a cultural impact, it will continue critiquing and shedding light on the different ways that academia forms violent relationships with students.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Academia, Dark academia, Exploitation, Knowledge, Student relationships, Violence
Universities and colleges in literature
College students in literature
Violence in literature

Email this document to