ABSTRACT

Introduction We are no human capital! This slogan of protesting students in Germany is a rare political articulation (Linksruck 2003). It signals a moment of collective de-identifi cation. Clearly, the capitalization of humanity is an old story. The story of the perverse humanization of capital however is more recent, and students seem to be the fi rst victims. The term “students” has become synonymous with the resources to be exploited, the talents to be mobilized, the object of investment, the guarantee of a country’s competitiveness or, when addressing the possible disobedient component of human capital, the customers to be seduced. Their de-identifi cation is at once an affi rmation: “we are students!” Despite the longstanding lamenting of academics and all other inhabitants of the institution called “university,” it is perhaps the students who really experience what is happening to us and through us today.