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European Philosophy

MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT CAMPAIGN – UPDATE 8th JUNE 2010

From http://savemdxphil.com/

Posted on 8 June 2010
http://savemdxphil.com/2010/06/08/announcement-8-june-the-crmep-is-moving-to-kingston-university/ by aletheiaticverse http://savemdxphil.com/author/aletheiaticverse/

The campaign to save our philosophy programmes has just won a partial but significant victory: Kingston University
http://www.kingston.ac.uk/ in south-west London announced today that it will re-establish our Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy http://www.web.mdx.ac.uk/CRMEP/ (CRMEP) at Kingston, by employing the four senior staff in Philosophy at Middlesex (Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford). Our MA and PhD programmes (full-time and part-time) will be re-launched at Kingston this September, and all current post-graduate students will be invited to move along with the staff. Institutions in France and Germany have also made significant new proposals for collaboration with the CRMEP, which may allow it to expand the European dimensions of its work considerably in the near future.

This remarkable turn of events would never been possible without the extraordinary local and international campaign that began six weeks ago, to save our philosophy programmes.

Like Middlesex, Kingston is a post-1992 university, with a commitment to widening participation in education. Unlike Middlesex, Kingston is expanding rather than cutting back its provision in humanities subjects, and it is investing in research in these areas. In addition to taking on CRMEP staff, Kingston will be making a number of other high-level appointments over the coming months, and is launching its own London Graduate School in conjunction with colleagues from several other Universities internationally.  We believe that Kingston will provide an enthusiastic and supportive base for the activities of the CRMEP.

Although we have not won all the demands made by our campaign, the move to Kingston is a major achievement. We have found a way to keep all of our postgraduate programmes open, and to keep most of the CRMEP staff together in a single unit. We have preserved a place in London for the unique academic community that has built up around the Centre and its distinctive research interests, and this will continue to be a place where the criteria for entry and participation remain as open as possible. The campaign has directly refuted the line that Middlesex managers have repeated for many years now – a variation of the line that ‘there is no alternative’ but to follow the neoliberal way of the world, and to close down small academic departments in favour of large vocational ones. The campaign hasn’t merely proved that ‘another way is possible’: it has helped to indicate what needs to be done to make such a way a reality, and shown that there are universities in the UK and in Europe that are willing to embrace it.

We hope that the campaign will continue, evolving to become one of several contributions from a range of institutions across London and the region to a broader and deeper struggle in support of philosophy, the humanities and public education more generally. Some of the protestors who made the biggest impact in our campaign came from supportive universities such as Sussex, KCL, SOAS, Westminster and Goldsmiths. This emerging network of education activists isn’t going to disperse, and is likely to play an important role in the struggles that will soon affect the entire sector. Although the closure of Philosophy at Middlesex is yet another indication of the ongoing commercialisation of education in the UK, our campaign, along with other recent mobilisations at universities up and down the country, has helped change the balance of power across higher education. The campaign to save philosophy at Middlesex has already made a powerful intervention in the fight for public education in general and for endangered humanities programmes in particular. The future looks challenging but there is now much to build on, at Middlesex, at Kingston and across the UK.

Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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