Luke is a DPhil Candidate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. He is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work concerns the cult of audit, accountability and assessment in contemporary education. Luke is interested in the relationship that these phenomena have with subject formation, or the kinds of people that the managerialist school encourages us to become, and what the consequences might be for democracy. He tries to explore further how this set of transformations has been elaborated and embodied in the development of novel disciplinary structures and a series of heightened punitive trajectories.

Luke conducted a two year ethnography of a comprehensive high school in North London which tried outline the structures, processes, rituals, and behavioural and discursive forms through which students are seduced, bound, fastened, or fixed, onto the regimes of truth, orders of conduct, and definite arrangements of status-knowledge-power that make our society what it is. His work follows a model of failure, in which the current institutional configuration of the school is defined not by conformity or correspondence but by resistance and refusal. In this sense the ethnography concerns the question of our present, how it is made, and what it becomes by virtue of our being a part of it, by virtue of our resisting or denying it, and by virtue of our acting as its fundamental support.

Luke’s work draws heavily on anthropological theory and continental philosophy where he has a special interest in sexuality, institutional modalities of seduction, power, symbolic exchange, and the works of Georges Bataille and John Baudrillard.

He holds a First Class MA (Hons) in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc with Distinction in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford. His work is supervised by Professor Ian Loader and Dr David Mills, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Research projects