Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Women's Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Amira Jarmakani

Second Advisor

Dr. Tiffany King

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Talburt


The 2008 economic crisis crippled the global public higher education sector, leaving a generation questioning the practicalities of pursuing higher education. In response to the neoliberalization of the public university, I examine the proliferation of DIY ethics and practices Millennials (AKA the Recession Generation) have strategically developed to evade institutions that further indebt their members. I further examine how the Recession Generation shapes affective labor, also described as immaterial labor, which serves as a necessary condition in the informational age of late capitalism. In examining a range of DIY sites, I show how Millennials strategically develop para-academic practices in order to rewrite harmful institutional practices that reify and weaponize static identitarian categories.