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Daily Archives: January 23rd, 2009

Reworking the University


Reworking the University: Visions, Strategies, Demands




April 24-26, 2009, University of Minnesota



The current ‘financial meltdown’ has exacerbated the ongoing crises within the university, resulting in even greater budget cuts, tuition hikes, hiring freezes and layoffs. Responses from university administrations have been predominantly reactive and have served to fortify the university as an institution of neoliberal capitalism. The administration and others have narrated this crisis as an external force that, while dramatic in the short rub, can nonetheless be managed properly. It is clear to many, however, that the neoliberal logic that has been used to transform the university over the past few decades has failed at a systemic level; the neoliberal death spiral has come home to the university.


In contrast to these reactionary responses, we seek to create a space for collective re-evaluation of the university in crisis as an opportunity for real transformation. Last year’s conference, “Rethinking the University: Labor, Knowledge, Value” (April 2008), sought to challenge the supposed inevitability of the neoliberal university. As a continuation of this project, “Reworking the University” seeks to draw together academics, artists, and activists, to share and produce political visions, strategies and demands for building an alternative university in common.


“Reworking the University” seeks to generate a vibrant, political exchange by troubling the traditional format of the academic conference. To this end, we hope to produce spaces for individuals and groups from different backgrounds and across a variety of institutional boundaries to converge. While the conference will include the presentation of papers on the topic of “Reworking the University”, the committee’s selection process will prioritize workshops, roundtables, trainings, art installations, film screenings, performances, and other forms of creative engagement.


The conference organizing collective has selected several questions and themes that emerged out of the 2008 conference that we will address in various formats. If you have interest in participating, please provide us with a description of your proposed contribution. We encourage you to self-organize a session (i.e. workshop, roundtable, training, etc.) and submit it as a whole. Feel free to use the blog: to help  facilitate session organizing.


Below is a list of possible topics and we, of course, welcome additional suggestions. In submitting your ideas for sessions, please give us as much information as possible – suggestions for themes, other participants and the session format.


The Reworking the University conference coincides with “Reclaim Your Education – Global Week of Action 2009” (April 20-27):  Organizers also encourage suggestions for additional actions as part of this event.


Send your suggestions (of up to 500 words) to:


The deadline for submissions is February 10th 2009



Prospective Themes and Issues:

Confronting American Apartheid: Access to Education

The Financial Crisis and the University

Counter/Radical Cartographies and Disorientation Guides

Corporate Funding and the University

Autonomous/Open/Free Universities

The Poverty of Student Life

Post-Enlightenment Visions: Beyond the Liberal Model

Anarchism and Education

Adjunct Unionization

Organizing Across Campuses, Cities, and Regions

Post-Antioch Universities & the Antioch Legacy

Anti-militarization Movements in the University

Prisons and Education

Undergrad Education Beyond Commodification

Historical Struggles in the University: May ’68 and Beyond

Autoreducation and Tactics for Direct Action in the Workplace

Contemporary Struggles in the University: The Anomalous Wave & Movements in Italy, Greece and elsewhere

Expropriating Institutional Space

Graduate Student Unionization and Radicalizing the Academy

Anti-professionalization; Anti-disciplinarity

Student Debt

Pedagogy of the Crisis

Creating Radical/Open Access Publications and the Politics of Citation


The schedule and proceedings from last year’s conference can be found at: 



Committee on Revolutionzing the Academy (ComRAD)



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

The Rouge Forum Update – (January 2009)


An up front reminder: The Rouge Forum Conference is May 14 to 17, 2009, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, near Detroit. The call for proposals is here:


The deadline is February 15 for proposals. Why come?

What’s our current context? A stock market collapse. Massive racist unemployment nearly redoubling each month. Hundreds of thousands of foreclosures and evictions. Police terror (the Oakland murder the most recent example) and immigration raids. Calls for more taxes and cuts in public services met by bankster bailouts in the trillions. Declared US wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq; undeclared wars in Gaza via Israeli proxies, Colombia, and cold wars growing with Russia and China–much of that revolving around oil. In schools all over the world: regimentation of the curricula to promote nationalism, high-stakes exams eradicating freedom, and militarization.

How can this be described as other than class war, an international war of the rich on the poor?

Now comes Obama promising Hope! and Change!

Probably not. His appointees alone say otherwise, all of them beholden to nearly the same oil bosses, war-makers, and financiers who propelled Clinton and Bush. Arne Duncan, education czar, promises privatized charter schools and merit pay—more of the same, faster.

The last 40 years demonstrate the primary role of capitalist democracy, which Obama personifies: An executive committee of the rich where they iron out differences, then allow us to choose which of them will oppress us best–and their armed weapon. Currently, the main result of Obama’s demagoguery is to resurrect forms of nationalism that were becoming exposed by the Bush regimes’ harsh tactics. Now we get the velvet glove over the iron fist, Obamagogue.

Only the Rouge Forum, which includes many voices, has had room for this kind of analysis in the US. We’ve combined this reasoned critique with action: test boycotts, strikes, and backing for resisters. Our publications circulate world-wide. In addition, we created a community of thinking people who can join together in friendly debate, overcoming isolation.

Hope and change rest not in seeking some politician to save us, but through building a mass class conscious base of people willing to fight back, to sacrifice to rearrange the social relations that allow the few to rule the many through ruses like nationalism, racism, sexism, and religious irrationality. Absent that goal, all struggle is mere tactics, lurching from opposing one unrelated form of oppression to the next, never getting to the root of things.

The union executives are no help. Already they prepare to offer concessions (concessions don’t save jobs, they only make employers want more), and to attack other sectors of workers not paying them dues (the California Teachers Association supports a regressive sales tax hike to pay for schooling) and to consolidate their power (NEA President Dennis Van Roekel seeks, again, to merge NEA with the AFL-CIO, SEIU’s Andy Stern moving to take control of the AFL and Change to Win, etc). The very structures of unions divide people by job, race, industry. NEA and AFT spent millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to elect Obama who demonstrated open contempt for educators throughout his campaign. With school workers the most unionized people in the US, the unions are unprepared to resist the attacks on every facet of education ahead.

That’s why it’s important to come to the Rouge Forum Conference and offer your own leadership to a movement for Equality and Freedom in schools and out. The them of the conference, Education, Empire, Economy and Ethics at the Crossroads, offers a wide field for discussion and presentations.

You can add your own voice, right now, to the Rouge Forum blog established by Community Coordinator Adam Renner at:

The Rouge Forum News deadline is February 15. Send articles, cartoons, art, etc., to Adam Renner ( )

Thanks to Katy and Greg, Kerry, Mary, Paul, Gina and Adam, Amber, Wayne, Tommie, Donavan, Sally, Lisa, Sharon A. David, Marty, Gil G, Perry, Marc, Kevin, Shelly, Chris, Candace, Lacy, Anne, Donna, Alan S, Sherry, Tally A, Kim, Sue, Laura C, Lynn S, Stephanie, Colleen, Kelly, and Sarah.

All the best in the New Year

Down the banks and
Up the Rebels!

Rich Gibson



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Rikowski web site, The Flow of Ideas is at:

Politics, Democracy and Practice


Date: 20th February 2009, 10.00 – 4.30

Venue: Coventry University, Richard Crossman Building, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5FB

Details at:

The C-SAP Critical Pedagogy/Popular Education Special Interest Group is organising a day for higher education teachers and educators to think about the relevance and importance of the bodies of ideas known as Critical Pedagogy and Popular Education.

Are you someone who:

* Believes in academic excellence but not elitism?

*Is concerned about the creeping culture of neo-liberal managerialism in Higher Education?

* Is uncomfortable about the idea of academics as entrepreneurs?

* Is concerned that the business culture in higher education is corroding collegiality?

* Believes in the positive value of widening participation in higher education?

* Is looking for new, creative ways of working with students?

* Believes that education still plays a vital role as a vehicle for progressive social change?

* And would like to connect with others who share these concerns?

If you answer to some or all of these questions is ‘yes’, then this is a day you should make every effort to attend. We believe it is important for progressive educators to meet and share ideas precisely at a time when the current economic crisis and growing popular discontent with neo-liberal policies across the world make it vital to elaborate alternative, participatory strategies for addressing the educational challenges of our times. We see this as a moment where we can (re)polticise, critique and reclaim the categories of existing discourse (such as ‘widening participation’, ‘inclusion’, ’employer engagement’, ‘diversity’ etc.); and where we can together articulate our private troubles not simply as individual grievances but as the whole public issues they represent.

Aims and Objectives of the Day:

The day seeks to provide an opportunity for teachers in higher education across the full disciplines/subjects to share, update and develop our ideas and commitments to radical pedagogical practices that seek to promote inclusivity, social responsibility, ethical reflexivity and political awareness. By the end of the day participants will have developed:

1. A critical understanding of key ideas and methods associated with critical pedagogy and popular education

2. Creative ideas for enhancing their pedagogical practices through engaging insharing of ideas and critical dialogue with colleagues from different institutions and disciplines

3. Ideas and strategies for building alliances, networks and communities of practice amongst academics, students, cirizens, activists and social movements.

Programme for the day:

The programme for the day will include a range of keynote speakers and workshops on themes and issues relevant to our aims and objectives. This will include material such as:

[1] The Moment of Critical Pedagogy – Why Critical Pedagogy? – Why Critical Pedagogy now?

[2] The ideas of Popular Education in Research and Politics

[3] ‘Race’ and Social Justice in the University and in the Community

[4] Gender, Sexulaity and Critical Pedagogy

[5] Performance as a Critical Tool

[6] Conversational Podcasting

The day will also include a performance from Banner Theatre, one of Briatin’s longest established community theatre companies, wh have extensive experience of working with marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

Cost and who can attend: The workshop is free for participants and places will be allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis. Primarily ai,ed at HE teachers and students.

How to apply: Please contact FRances Worrall at C-SAP:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

Glenn’s MySpace Profile:

A World To Win: News & Events


For news and updates on A World To Win website, including forthcoming meetings, political commentary and details on Paul Feldman’s new book Unmasking the State and much more see the web site, at:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski 

The Flow of Ideas: 

Slumdog Millionaire

Reviewed by Gregory Rikowski


You can view Gregory Rikowski’s review of this film at:


Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas is at:

Gregory Rikowski’s GREGSWORLD blog is at: 

Glenn Rikowski’s MySpace Profile is at:   

The Financial Crisis: Responses and Implications in Europe


Critical Political Economy RN at the European Sociological Association conference, Lisbon, 2-5 September 2009

The Financial Crisis: Responses and Implications in Europe

Europe is experiencing its most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. The response of the EU and member states to this crisis has been paradoxical. The crisis has discredited the ‘Anglo-American’ model of finance-led capitalism and gravely weakened the American imperium.

Yet, the countries of Europe have been unable either individually or collectively to devise a concerted regional solution to the crisis. The result has been rising unemployment, the intensification of intra-regional disparities, signs of inter-state rivalries and is likely to result in growing poverty. Notwithstanding the deployment of massive resources to failing banks, the EU and member states continue to pursue the main planks of the neoliberal agenda, including labour market reforms, privatisation, and financialisation. This session seeks to address the prospects for a European alternative to U.S.-led neoliberalism. Addressing the theme of this conference, we aim to consider to what extent does the current crisis unite or divide Europe and prospective allies in the world order, and what are its implications for the European project of integration. We invite papers which consider at least one of the following:

* Limits and contradictions of the mode of development currently in crisis, which may enable us to understand the current conjuncture.

* The problem of translating intellectual criticism into policy prescription or alternative strategies

*The political consequences of the crisis, its implication for political strategies pursued in relation to the ‘European model’ as well as to the regulatory frameworks on national and sub-national levels

*The issue of contemporary social and political mobilization and attendant effects on the ‘limits of the possible’.

Abstracts should be submitted by 26 February 2009 (online submission form: view Call for Abstracts button at

More information on CPE RN:


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Glenn’s MySpace Profile is at:

The International Socialist Tradition in Political Economy



An International Socialism journal seminar with Alex Callinicos, author of An Anti-capitalist Manifesto, The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx and The Resources of Critique.


6.30pm, Friday 30 January. Room 629, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1


At this, the first in a series of seminars organised by International Socialism journal, Alex will set out the analysis of capitalism first developed by Tony Cliff, Mike Kidron and others associated with the journal. He will consider its strengths and weaknesses in relation to later analyses that emerged from the 1970s onwards, such as those developed by Ben Fine, David Harvey and Robert Brenner.



For more information phone 020 7819 1177 or email



International Socialism

+44 (0)20 7819 1177



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas is at:

Glenn’s MySpace Profile is at: