• The “modern university” is the social institution that has grown beyond the confines of brick and mortar to become a certifying body granting approval to those subjects who pass through its machinery, typically operating under the regulation and supervision of a government-sanctioned system of formalized accreditation. The modern university is inextricably bound up with the concerns of the state, unlike the theological or self-governing bondage of its ancient self. I propose something more specific than this for the purposes of this paper: the modern university in relation to productive disappointment and authority.