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Education Crisis

Education Crisis

THE ACADEMIC MANIFESTO: FROM AN OCCUPIED TO A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY

Willem Halffman and Hans Radder

 

First published in Krisis: Journal of Contemporary Philosophy, 2013, Issue 3 (in Dutch)

Now available in English: translated by Jan Evertse

 

Willem Halffman and Hans Radder

The academic manifesto: From an occupied to a public university

 

1 The occupied university

The university has been occupied – not by students demanding a say (as in the 1960s), but this time by the many-headed Wolf of management.1 The Wolf has colonised academia with a mercenary army of professional administrators, armed with spreadsheets, output indicators and audit procedures, loudly accompanied by the Efficiency and Excellence March. Management has proclaimed academics the enemy within: academics have to be distrusted, tested and monitored, under the permanent threat of reorganisation, discontinuance and dismissal. The academics allow themselves to be meekly played off against one another, like frightened, obedient sheep, hoping to make it by staying just ahead of their colleagues. The Wolf uses the most absurd means to

remain in control, such as money-squandering semi- and full mergers, increasingly detailed, and thus costly, accountability systems and extremely expensive prestige projects.

This conquest seems to work and the export of knowledge from the newly conquered colony can be ever increased, but inland the troubles fester. Thus, while all the glossed-up indicators constantly point to the stars, the mood on the academic shop floor steadily drops. The Wolf pops champagne after each new score in the Shanghai Competition, while the university sheep desperately work until they drop2 and the quality of the knowledge plantations is starting to falter, as is demonstrated by a large number of comprehensive and thorough analyses.3 Meanwhile, the sheep endeavour to bring the absurd anomalies of the occupation to the Wolf’s attention by means of an endless stream of opinion articles, lamentations, pressing letters and appeals. In turn, the Wolf reduces these to mere incidents, brushes them aside as inevitable side effects of progress, or simply ignores them.

Although our description and evaluation were written from the perspective of Dutch universities, the gist of our account (and quite a few details) applies to other countries as well, especially in Europe.4 While management’s occupation may not be as advanced in the Netherlands as it is in England (Holmwood 2011), it has already established a powerful continental bridgehead (De Boer, Enders and Schimank 2007). To show how these developments are more than just incidents, we list six critical processes and their excesses below. We will then proceed to analyse causes and suggest remedies.

 

Notes:

This article is a slightly updated and edited translation of the Dutch original, which appeared in Krisis: Tijdschrift voor actuele filosofie 2013 (3), pp. 2-18. We are grateful for helpful commentary on that version by the Krisis editorial team, in particular René Gabriëls. We would also like to thank Ilse and Jan Evertse for translating the Dutch text into English.

2 According to accepted clinical norms, a quarter of Dutch professors of medical science (especially the younger ones) suffer from burn-out (Tijdink, Vergouwen en Smulders 2012).

3 See, e.g., Ritzer (1998); Graham (2002); Hayes and Wynyard (2002); Bok (2003); Washburn (2003); Evans (2005); Shimank (2005); Boomkens (2008); Gill (2009); Tuchman (2009); Radder (2010); Krijnen, Lorenz and Umlauf (2011); Collini (2012); Sanders and Van der Zweerde (2012); Dijstelbloem et al. (2013); Verbrugge and Van Baardewijk (2014).

4 See Lorenz (2006 and 2012); Krücken (2014). In line with the situation in most European

 

See the full article in English at: https://www.academia.edu/9923660/The_academic_manifesto_From_an_occupied_to_a_public_unversity

Krisis: Tijdschrift voor actuele filosofie: http://www.krisis.eu

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

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Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

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Education Not for Sale

Education Not for Sale

THE LABOUR OF ACADEMIA

ephemera: theory & politics in organization

The labour of academia

Submission deadline: 28 February 2015

Call for Papers

 

Issue Editors: Nick Butler, Helen Delaney and Martyna Śliwa

It is well known that the purpose of the contemporary university is being radically transformed by the encroachment of corporate imperatives into higher education (Beverungen, et al., 2008; Svensson, et al., 2010;). This has inevitable consequences for managerial interventions, research audits and funding structures. But it also impacts on the working conditions of academic staff in university institutions in terms of teaching, research, administration and public engagement. Focusing on this level of analysis, the special issue seeks to explore questions about how the work of scholars is being shaped, managed and controlled under the burgeoning regime of ‘academic capitalism’ (Rhoades and Slaughter, 2004) and in turn to ask what might be done about it.

There is a case to be made that the modern university is founded on principles of rationalization and bureaucratization; there has always been a close link between money, markets and higher education (Collini, 2013). But the massification of higher education in recent years, combined with efforts to reduce the reliance on state funding, has led to the university being managed in much the same way as any other large industrial organization (Morley, 2003; Deem, et al., 2007). This is particularly pronounced in an economy that privileges knowledge-based labour over other forms of productive activity, which underlines Bill Readings’ (1996: 22) point that the university is not just being run like a corporation – it is a corporation. We witness this trend in the increasing prominence of mission statements, university branding and cost-benefit analysis (Bok, 2009). We also see it in the introduction of tuition fees, which turns students into consumers, universities into service-providers, and degree programmes into investment projects (Lawrence and Sharma, 2002). Universities are now in the business of selling intangible goods, not least of all the ineffable product of ‘employability’ (Chertkovskaya, et al., 2013).

In parallel, there has been a marked intensification of academic labour in recent years, manifested in higher work-loads, longer hours, precarious contracts and more invasive management control via performance indicators such as TQM and the balanced scorecard (Morley and Walsh, 1996; Bryson, 2004; Archer, 2008; Bousquet, 2008; Clarke, et al., 2012). The personal and professional lives of academic staff are deeply affected by such changes in the structures of higher education, leading to increased stress, alienation, feelings of guilt and other negative emotions (Ogbonna and Harris, 2004).

While many scholars suffer under these conditions, others find themselves adapting to the tenets of academic enterprise culture in order to seek out opportunities for career development and professional advancement. The consequences for the quality of scholarship, however, may be far from positive. Indeed, recent studies suggest that academics may be more willing to ‘play the publication game’ at the expense of genuine critical inquiry (Butler and Spoelstra, 2014). There is a palpable sense that ‘journal list fetishism’ (Willmott, 2011) is coming to shape not only patterns of knowledge production in higher education but also how academics are coming to relate to themselves and their own research. These trends suggest that the Humboldtian idea of the university – which measures the value of scientific-philosophical knowledge (Wissenschaft) according to the degree of cultivation (Bildung) it produces – has been superseded by a regime based on journal rankings, citation rates, impact factors and other quantitative metrics used to assess and reward research ‘output’ (Lucas, 2006).

Some scholars have pointed to the possibilities for resistance to the regime of academic capitalism. Rolfe (2013) suggests that what is required is the development of a rhizomatic paraversity that operates below the surface of the neoliberal university. This would serve to reintroduce the ‘non-productive labour of thought’ (2013: 53) into university life, thereby emphasizing quality over quantity and critique over careerism. Efforts such as Edu-factory may also point towards fruitful directions for the future of higher education beyond neoliberal imperatives (Edu-factory Collective, 2009). In this special issue, we seek to diagnose the state of the contemporary university as well as uncover potentialities for dwelling subversively within and outside the ‘ruins of the university’ (Readings, 1996; Raunig, 2013).

Towards this aim, we invite submissions that consider the following questions:

  • What are the new and emerging discourses of academic work?
  • What is being commodified under conditions of academic capitalism and what are the consequences?
  • How are current trends shaping the way academics relate to themselves, their research, peers, students, the public and other stakeholders?
  • How does alienation and exploitation occur in the academic labour process?
  • In what ways do gender, race, sexuality, age and class matter to the study of academic labour?
  • What is happening to academic identity, ethos and ideals in the contemporary university?
  • How do academics cope with the demands and tensions of their work?
  • How can we theorise the historical shifts surrounding academic labour?
  • How is the academic labour market being polarized?
  • What are the varieties of academic capitalism in different terrains?
  • How do we account for the historical shift in academic labour?
  • What are the rewards and riches of contemporary academic labour?
  • How can we imagine alternative choices, collectives, discourses and identities in the university?
  • Is it worth defending the current conditions of academic work?

Deadline for submissions: 28th February 2015

All contributions should be submitted to one of the issue editors: Nick Butler (nick.butler  AT fek.lu.se), Helen Delaney (h.delaney AT auckland.ac.nz) or Martyna Śliwa (masliwa AT essex.ac.uk).

Please note that three categories of contributions are invited for the special issue: articles, notes, and reviews. All submissions should follow ephemera’s submissions guidelines (www.ephemerajournal.org/how-submit). Articles will undergo a double blind review process.  For further information, please contact one of the special issue editors.

References

Archer, L. (2008) ‘The new neoliberal subjects? Young/er academics’ constructions of professional identity’, Journal of Education Policy, 23(3): 265-285.

Beverungen, A., S. Dunne and B.M. Sørensen (2008) ‘University, failed’, ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 8(3): 232-237.

Bok, D. (2009) Universities in the marketplace: The commercialization of higher education. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bousquet, M. (2008) How the university works: Higher education and the low-wage nation. New York: NYU Press.

Bryson, C. (2004) ‘What about the workers? The expansion of higher education and the transformation of academic work’, Industrial Relations Journal, 35(1): 38-57.

Butler, N. and S. Spoelstra (2014) ‘The regime of excellence and the erosion of ethos in critical management studies’, British Journal of Management,  DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12053.

Chertkovskaya, E., P. Watt, S. Tramer and S. Spoelstra (2013) ‘Giving notice to employability’,ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 13(4): 701-716.

Clarke, C., D. Knights, and C. Jarvis (2012) ‘A labour of love? Academics in business schools’,Scandinavian Journal of Management, 28(1): 5-15.

Collini, S. (2013) ‘Sold out’, London Review of Books, 35(20): 3-12.

Deem, R., S. Hillyard and M. Reed (2007) Knowledge, higher education, and the new managerialism: The changing management of UK universities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Edu-factory Collective (2009) Towards a global autonomous university. New York: Autonomedia.

Lawrence, S. and U. Sharma (2002) ‘Commodification of education and academic labour: Using the balanced scorecard in a university setting’, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 13(5): 661-677.

Lucas, L. (2006) The research game in academic life. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International.

Morley, L. (2003) Quality and power in higher education. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill International.

Morley, L. and V. Walsh (eds.) (1996) Breaking boundaries: Women in higher education. London: Taylor & Francis.

Ogbonna, E. and L.C. Harris (2004) ‘Work intensification and emotional labour among UK university lecturers: An exploratory study’, Organization Studies, 25(7): 1185-1203.

Readings, B. (1996) The university in ruins. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Rolfe, G. (2013) The university in dissent: Scholarship in the corporate university. London: Routledge.

Rhoades, G. and S. Slaughter (2004) Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: JHU Press.

Raunig, G. (2013) Factories of knowledge, industries of creativity. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Svensson, P., S. Spoelstra, M. Pedersen and S. Schreven (2010) ‘The excellent institution’,ephemera: theory & politics in organization, 10(1): 1-6.

Willmott, H. (2011) ‘Journal list fetishism and the perversion of scholarship: reactivity and the ABS list’, Organization, 18(4): 429-442.

 

See: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/content/labour-academia-0

ephemera: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/

Teaching Marx

Teaching Marx

**END**

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Education Crisis 7GOVERNING ACADEMIC LIFE: PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME

Conference at the London School of Economics & The British Library

25th and 26th June 2014

 

Provisional Programme

(Some of the details below are subject to change, and more will be added later)

Website: http://www.governing-academic-life.org/provisional-programme/

 

 

Wednesday, 25th June

 

09.30-10.45: Refreshments

10.45-11.00: Welcome and opening remarks

 

11.00-12.30: Opening Plenary

Gurminder Bhambra (Warwick), ‘The Neoliberal Assault on the Public University’
Wendy Brown (Berkeley) ‘Between Shareholders and Stakeholders: University Purposes Adrift’
Mike Power (LSE) ‘Accounting for the Impact of Research’

 

12.30-13.30: Lunch

 

13.30-15.00: Parallel Sessions

 

A. (Anti-)Social Science, the neoliberal art of government, and higher education

John Holmwood (Nottingham) , ‘Neo-liberalism as a theory of knowledge and its implications for the social sciences and critical thought’
Nick Gane (Warwick), ‘Neoliberalism: How Should the Social Sciences Respond?’
Andrew McGettigan (Critical Education blog), ‘Human Capital in English Higher Education’

 

B. What is an author, now? Futures of scholarly communication and academic publishing

Roundtable discussion with Steffen Boehm (Essex), Christian Fuchs (Westminster), Gary Hall (Coventry), Paul Kirby (Sussex)

Chair: Jane Tinkler (LSE)

 

15.00-15.15: Refreshments

 

15.15-17.00: Parallel Sessions

 

A. Feminism and the knowledge factory
Convenor: Valerie Hey, Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER, University of Sussex)

Barbara Crossouard (CHEER), ‘Materializing Foucault?’
Valerie Hey (CHEER), ‘Neo-Liberal Materialities and their Dissident Daughters’
Louise Morley (CHEER), ‘Researching the Future: Closures and Culture Wars in the Knowledge Economy’

 

B. Co-operative higher education
Convenor: Joss Winn (Lincoln)

Richard Hall, ‘Academic Labour and Co-operative Struggles for Subjectivity’
Mike Neary (Lincoln), ‘Challenging the Capitalist University’
Joss Winn (Lincoln), ‘The University as a Worker Co-operative’
Andreas Wittel (Nottingham Trent) ‘Education as a Gift’

 

18.15-20.00: Pay bar at Terrace Room, British Library

 

18.30-20.00: Remember Foucault? (Terrace Room, British Library)

Mitchell Dean (Copenhagen Business School), ‘Michel Foucault’s “apology” for neoliberalism’
Lois McNay (Oxford) ‘Foucault, Social Weightlessness and the Politics of Critique’

Chair: Peter Miller (LSE)

 

 

Thursday, 26th June

 

09.30- 11.00: Parallel Sessions

 

A. Governing academic freedom

Stephen J. Ball (Institute of Education: University of London) ‘Universities and “the economy of truth”’
Penny Jane Burke (Roehampton) and Gill Crozier (Roehampton), ‘Regulating Difference in Higher Education Pedagogies’
Rosalind Gill (City University), ‘The Psychic Life of Neoliberalism in the Academy’

 

B. Teaching the ungovernable: rethinking the student as public

Convenor: Carl Cederström (Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University)

Sam Dallyn (Manchester Business School, Manchester University), ‘Management Education: Critical Management Myopia and Searching for an Alternative Public’
Carl Cederström (Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University), ‘The Student as Public’
Matthew Charles (Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster), ‘The Ungovernable in Education: On Unintended Learning Outcomes’
Mike Marinetto (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University), ‘The Ungovernable Syllabus: Social Science Fiction and the Creation of a Public Pedagogy’

 

11.00-11.30: Refreshments

 

11.30-13.00: Parallel Sessions

 

A. Measurement, management and the market university

Elizabeth Popp Berman (SUNY Albany), ‘Quantifying the Economic Value of Science: The Production and Circulation of U.S. Science & Technology Statistics’
Isabelle Bruno (University of Lille 2), ‘Quality management in education and research: an essay in genealogy’
Christopher Newfield (UC Santa Barbara), ‘The Price of Privatization’

 

B. Para-academic Practices: becoming ungovernable?
Convenor: Paul Boshears

Paul Boshears (European Graduate School; continent), ‘Rudderless Piloting, Unwavering Pivoting, Governing without Coercion’
Fintan Neylan (Dublin Unit for Speculative Thought), ‘The Logic of Para-Organisation’
Robert Jackson (Lancaster) ‘Para-academia and the Education of Grownups’
Eileen Joy (Punctum Books), ‘Amour Fou and the Clockless Nowever: Radical Publics’ (by weblink)

 

13.00-14.30: Lunch

14.30-16.45: Final Plenary: Beyond the Neoliberal Academy

Convenor: Des Freedman (Goldsmiths): Participants tbc.

 

16.45-17.00: Closing remarks

 

*****END*****

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskpoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Education Crisis

Education Crisis

CONVENTION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

University of Brighton, Friday 24 & Saturday 25 May 2013

Organised by the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (CAPPE), University of Brighton, and co-sponsored by the Campaign for the Public University, the Council for the Defence of British Universities, and UCU at the University of Brighton, this two-day conference on Higher Education – What it is for, and how to defend it: towards a Charter for Higher Education in the UK investigates the current changes that British Higher Education (in England and Wales) is undergoing.

The Convention is designed to enable colleagues from the full range of university disciplines to address how to preserve a properly described ‘higher education’ from the effects of current proposals, and from the redefinition of universities and of higher learning. As a complement to the Council for the Defence of British Universities and the Campaign for the Public University, it will consider, and adopt a draft of, a Charter for Higher Education that the organisers hope will be debated and refined in most or all institutions of higher learning throughout the UK, and which could then form the core of values around which colleagues could cohere, whether as members of Councils and Academic Boards, Faculty or School Boards, as members of their Course Committees, or as union members.

The Convention has been occasioned by the 25th anniversary of the Humanities Programme at the University of Brighton. Born in adversity in 1988 – in the midst of an earlier assault on the Humanities – it has survived and thrived by resisting both governmental pressure and temporary fashions in education and pedagogy. It is an interdisciplinary, non-modular range of degree courses based on small-group teaching, and research-focused student development.

Keynote speakers: Priya Gopal, Colin Blakemore, John Holmwood, Martin McQuillan, Gill Scott, Will Hutton, Martin Hall, Luke Martell, Bob Brecher, Peter Scott, Tom Hickey, Colin Green, Caroline Lucas (MP), Thomas Docherty, Michael Rosen

 

Discussion:

A draft Charter for Higher Education

And sessions on:

• The Ambit and Character of a University for the 21st Century

• What is Special about a Public University System

• Knowledge and Dissemination: the Commercialisation of Learning & Research

• Constraints and Conformities: Defining Economic and Social 
Engagement

• Academic Freedom: its Meaning in the New Century

• Work and Contracts in a Corporate University

• The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Adversity: Governmental Myopia

• How Mass Higher Education Does Not Entail Lower Standards (Humanities at Brighton)

• Research Supervision: Craft or Mass Process?

• Of Education, Entertainment and Satisfaction: Student Evaluation vs the NSS

• Students, Staff and Democracy in the Academy

• The Bureaucratisation of Learning: aims, objectives, methods, 
outcomes

• Of Careers and Careerism – Who Benefits: the Equality Agenda

• Global HE as International Trade: Commerce and Contradiction

• Quantum of Recognition: Vacuities of Research Measurement

 

Registration:

The registration fee for this event is £40 for employed delegates and £10 for students/retired/unemployed delegates. This includes lunch and refreshments on both days.

Online registration is available via the following link

For further information e-mail Bob Brecher at r.brecher@brighton.ac.uk

The Convention: http://publicuniversity.org.uk/2013/03/14/convention-for-higher-education/

Campaign for the Public University: http://publicuniversity.org.uk/

 

**END**

 

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales); and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo (new remix, and new video, 2012)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

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Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

 

Ghosts

ON HAUNTOLOGY \ CAPITALIST REALISM – TWO TALKS BY MARK FISHER

THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE AND NYU’S ASIAN/ PACIFIC/ AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM present:

TWO TALKS BY MARK FISHER

What are grey vampires and how do they retard the insurrectionary potential of digital  discourse?  How does Derrida’s notion of hauntology contribute to an understanding of dubstep artist Burial?  Is ‘Basic Instinct 2’, routinely derided as a cine-atrocity, a Lacanian reworking of Ballard, Baudrillard and Bataille in service of the creation of a ‘phantasmatic, cybergothic London’?  What is interpassivity and in what ways has it come to define the corporatized incarceration of modern academia?

Over the last decade, Mark Fisher has established a reputation as one of the exhilarating cultural theorists in Britain.  A co-founder of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) at Warwick University ­and described by Simon Reynolds as the academic equivalent of Apocalypse Now’s Colonel Kurtz ­ he brings together psychoanalysis, political analysis and speculative fiction to create an extraordinary body of rogue scholarship, a theory-rush with few parallels.

Fisher is the author of ‘Capitalist Realism’, the editor of ‘The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson’ (both Zer0 Books, 2009), and writes regularly for Sight and Sound, Film Quarterly, The Wire and Frieze, as well as maintaining a well-known blog at http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org.  He teaches at the University of East London, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the City Literary Institute.

The Colloquium for Unpopular Culture and NYU’s Asian/ Pacific/ American Studies program are pleased to be hosting Fisher’s first talks inAmerica.

See ‘ The Metaphysics of Crackle’, at: http://pontone.pl/pontones-special-guest-mix-k-punk-the-metaphysics-of-crackle/

***

MARK FISHER, THESE ARE NON-TIMES AS WELL AS NON-PLACES: REFLECTIONS ON HAUNTOLOGY
 
WHEN: Wednesday 4 May 2011, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 471, 20 Cooper Square [East 5th and Bowery]
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

”Through their generic and transient qualities ­ workstations devoid of personal effects, relations with colleagues as fleeting as those with passengers on a commuter journey ­ many workplaces now resemble non-places, either literally, as in the case of a hotel, corporate coffee chain or out-of-town supermarket, or symbolically, in the form of temporary assignments for faceless employers (dis)located in anonymous buildings, where the worker-commuter then follows the same global timetables, navigates the same software applications and experiences the same sense of placelessness, the feeling of being mere data in the mainframe.”

So writes Ivor Southwood in his analysis of precarious labour, ‘Non-Stop Inertia’ (2011). In the last decade, the proliferation of corporate non-places has been accompanied by the spread of cyberspace-time, or Itime, a distributed or unpunctuated temporality. It’s no coincidence that, as this unmarked time increasingly came to dominate cultural and psychic space, Derrida’s concept hauntology (re)emerged as the name for a paradoxical zeitgeist.  In ‘Specters of Marx’, Derrida argued that the hauntological was characterised by ‘a time out of joint’, and this broken time has been expressed in cultural objects that return to a wounded or distorted version of the past in flight from a waning sense of the present. Sometimes accused of nostalgia, the most powerful examples of hauntological culture actually show that nostalgia is no longer possible.

In conditions where pastiche has become normalised, the question has to be: nostalgia compared to what? James Bridle has recently argued that ‘the opposite of hauntology … [is] to demand the radically new’, but hauntology in fact operates as a kind of thwarted preservation of such demands in conditions where – for the moment at least – they cannot be met. Whereas cyberspace-time tends towards the generation of cultural moments that are as interchangeable as transnational franchise outlets, hauntology involves the staining of particular places with time – albeit a time that is out of joint. In this lecture, Fisher will explore the hauntological culture of the last few years in relation to the question of place, using examples from music (Burial, The Caretaker, Ekoplekz, Richard Skelton), film (Chris Petit, Patrick Keiller) and fiction (Alan Garner, David Peace).

MARK FISHER, DEPACIFICATION PROGRAM: FROM CAPITALIST REALISM TO POST-CAPITALISM

WHEN: Thursday 5 May 2011, 6:30pm
WHERE: Room 471, 20 Cooper Square [East 5th and Bowery]
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

”It would be best, perhaps, to think of an alternate world – better to say the alternate world, our alternate world – as one contiguous with ours but without any connections or access to it. Then, from time to time, like a diseased eyeball in which disturbing flashes of light are perceived or like those baroque sunbursts in which rays from another world suddenly break into this one, we are reminded that Utopia exists and that other systems, other spaces, are still possible” (Fredric Jameson, ‘Valences of the Dialectic’).

In his 2009 book ‘Capitalist Realism’, Mark Fisher started to explore some of the affective, psychological and political consequences of the deeply entrenched belief that there is no alternative to capitalism. After 1989, capital seemed to enjoy full spectrum dominance of both global space and the unconscious. Every imaginable future was capitalist.  What has been mistaken for post-political apathy, Fisher argued, was a pervasive sense of reflexive impotence in the face of a neoliberal ideological program which sought to subordinate all of culture to the imperatives of business. The subject of post-Fordist capitalism is no passive dupe; this subject actively participates in an ‘interpassive’ corporate culture which solicits our involvement and encourages us to ‘join the debate’.

As Fisher argues in the book, education has been at the forefront of this process, with teachers and lecturers locked into managerialist self-surveillance, and students induced into the role of consumers.

In the eighteen months since ‘Capitalist Realism’ was published, the neoliberal program has been seriously compromised, but capitalist realism has intensified – with austerity programs pushed through on the basis that it is unthinkable that capitalism should be allowed to fail. At the same time, this new, more desperate form of capitalist realism has also faced unexpected challenges from a militancy growing in Europe, the Middle East and even in the heartlands of neoliberalism such as the UK and the US. Now that history has started up again, and Jameson’s ‘baroque sunbursts’ flare brighter than they have for a generation, we can begin to pose questions that had receded into the unimaginable during the high pomp of neoliberal triumphalism: what might a post-capitalism look like,
and how can we get there?

Fisher will argue that the Left will only succeed if it can reclaim modernity from a neoliberal Right that has lost control of it. This entails understanding how the current possibilities for agency are contoured and constrained by the machinery of what Deleuze and Foucault called the Control Society, including cyberspace, the media landscape, psychic pathologies and pharmacology – failures to act are not failures of will, and all the will in the world will not eliminate capitalism. It also entails recognising that neoliberalism’s global hegemony arose from capturing desires which it could not satisfy. A genuinely new Left must be shaped by those desires, and not be lulled, once again, by the logics of failed revolts.

Queries: ss162@nyu.edu

***END***

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Social Change

REFLECTIONS ON CONNECTING ACADEMIA WITH PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL CHANGE

The Center for Place, Culture and Politics

Ten Year Anniversary Conference

Reflections on Connecting Academia with Progressive Social Change

Speakers:

LEO PANITCH, Professor of Political Science, York University, Editor, The Socialist Register

SUSAN BUCK-MORSS, Professor of Political Science, CUNY, Author of Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left (W.W. Norton, 2003)

SUJATHA FERNANDES, Professor of Sociology, CUNY, Author of Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chavez’s Venezuela (Duke University Press, 2010)

TIM BRENNAN, Professor of English, University of Minnesota, Author of Secular Devotion: Afro-Latin Music and Imperial Jazz (Verso, 2008)

GILLIAN HART, Professor of Development Studies, UC Berkeley, Author of  Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa (University of California Press, 2002)

JOHN KRINSKY, Professor of Political Science, CUNY, Author of Free Labor: Workfare and the Contested Language of Neoliberalism (University of Chicago Press, 2007)

ROS PETCHESKY, Professor of Political Science, CUNY, Co-author of Sexuality, Health, and Human Rights (Routledge, 2008)

JOHN MORRISSEY, Professor of Geography, National University of Ireland, Author of Negotiating Colonialism (HGRG, Royal Geographical Society, London, 2003)

MIKE MENSER, Professor of Philosophy, CUNY, Co-founder, US Solidarity Economy Network

Please join us in celebrating a decade of critical inquiry, interdisciplinary scholarship, blood, sweat, and beer.

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Panel discussions: 4-5.30 PM & 5.30 – 7 PM

Proshansky Auditorium

CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Ave. @ 34th Street

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Information for Social Change: http://libr.org/isc

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski