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Co-operation

THE NEW COOPERATIVISM

Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action
Volume 4, Issue 1, 2010
http://www.affinitiesjournal.org

Cooperative practices and values that challenge the status quo while, at the same time, creating alternative modes of economic, cultural, social, and political life have emerged with dynamism in recent years. The 15 articles in this issue–written by activists, co-op practitioners, theorists, historians, and researchers–begin to make visible some of the myriad modes of cooperation existing today around the world that both directly respond to new enclosures and crises and show pathways beyond them. Prefiguring other possibilities for organizing life and provisioning for our needs and desires, we call these cooperative experiments the new cooperativism.
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http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/issue/view/4/showToc

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Culture

BANFF RESEARCH IN CULTURE: MAY 8th – 28th, 2011

Application Information Now On-line

BANFF RESEARCH in CULTURE (BRiC) / Research Residency Program
Banff Centre for the Arts / University of Alberta

THEME: On the Commons; or, Believing-Feeling-Acting Together

Guest Faculty: Lauren Berlant, Michael Hardt, Pedro Reyes
Organizers: Imre Szeman, Heather Zwicker, Kitty Scott

Program dates: May 9, 2011 – May 27, 2011
Application deadline: December 1, 2010

APPLICATION AND PROGRAM INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE AT:

http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/program.aspx?id=1068

Email Contact: bric@ualberta.ca

The commons has emerged as one of the key concepts around which social, political, and cultural demands are being articulated and theorized today. Harkening back to the displacement of people from shared communal spaces and their transformation from public into private property – a central act in the development of European capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries – the commons insists on the fundamentally shared character of social life: that everything from language to education, from nature to our genetic inheritance, belongs irreducibly to all of us. As an increasingly rapacious capitalism draws ever more elements of social life into its profit logic and renders seemingly every activity and value into a commodity, thinking with and through the commons has become an important means of generating conceptual and political resistance to the multiple new forms of enclosure that continue to take place today, and which need to be confronted and challenged forcefully and directly.

The commons is a concept used in analyses and interventions in popular culture, art, new media, political philosophy, social theory, law, literary studies, and more. The ease with which neoliberal ideology – which celebrates the supposed rationality of privatization and has managed to transform taxation into an act feared above all else – has become embedded in the beliefs and lived structures of everyday life demands an intensive examination of how and why we have come to prefer enclosure to the commons in almost every area of social life. Just as importantly, it also requires us to investigate and invent new ways of being-in-common–ways of believing, feeling and acting together, of creating the commons that seem everywhere to be receding from view.

The aim of this year’s Banff Research in Culture workshop is to give scholars, cultural producers, and artists an opportunity to explore how we believe, feel, and act together, and the ways in which we are prevented from doing so. How might we shape new collectivities and communities? What are the capacities and dispositions essential to producing new ways of being? What lessons can we learn from history as well as contemporary struggles over the commons (from challenges to intellectual property to indigenous struggles)? What concepts and vocabularies might we develop to aid our critical and conceptual work with respect to the commons (e.g. Alain Badiou’s revival of communism or Jacque Rancière’s reconfiguration of equality and democracy)? How does artistic and cultural production participate in the production of new collectivities and defense of the commons? Where do we go from here – a moment in which neoliberalism seems to have stumbled and lost its forward momentum? We welcome projects dealing with the full range of issues and topics related to being-believing-feeling-acting together today.

On the Commons will run concurrently with the thematic residency La Commune. The Asylum. Die Bühne led by artist Althea Thauberger, providing opportunities for interaction and collaboration with artists in residence.

PROGRAM DETAILS
Developed by Imre Szeman, Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Heather Zwicker, Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, and Kitty Scott, Director of Visual Arts at the Banff Centre, On the Commons is part of Banff Research in Culture (BRiC), a new residency program designed for scholars engaged in advanced theoretical research on themes and topics in culture. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and practicing artists from across Canada and beyond will convene at The Banff Centre to pursue their work – and, ideally, to incubate new collaborations and creations – for three weeks. During the residency, participants will attend lectures, seminars, and workshops offered by distinguished visiting faculty from around the world, each of whom will stay at Banff for a week or more and will be available to discuss projects and ideas. Participants will also be encouraged to present their work to colleagues through readings, talks, and presentations held over the course of the program.

As a residency program, BRiC is designed to allow participants to devote an extended period of time on their own research in the company of others with similar interests. In addition to giving researchers and creators from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds an opportunity to exchange opinions and ideas, it is hoped that participants will develop new artistic, editorial, authorial, and collective projects during their time at Banff, both individually and in connection with others. We are especially pleased by the opportunity that BRiC affords visual artists and researchers to work together on issues of common interest.

APPLICATION AND PROGRAM INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE AT: http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/program.aspx?id=1068

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

Midnight

TOWARD THE LAST JUBILEE! MINNIGHT NOTES AT THIRTY YEARS

New Pamphlet: Toward the Last Jubilee! Midnight Notes at Thirty Years

(Edited by Craig Hughes. Published by Autonomedia & Perry Editions)

In November 2009, the Midnight Notes Collective marked thirty years of work with MN30, a day-long conference held at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan that was attended by more than seventy comrades. This pamphlet, which includes essays by writers involved in or inspired by the work of Midnight Notes, developed from that gathering.

The short pieces in this pamphlet are characteristic of the crises – of capitalism, of the working class, of movements – that MN30 occurred in. The authors don’t mince words—not in their celebration and admiration of Midnight Notes, nor in their presentation of the very real difficulties of the period; not in their critiques of where the project has been and gone, and certainly not in their raising of the real pressing political issues we all need to grapple with.

Available for sale from Autonomedia (http://www.autonomedia.org) and AK Press (http://www.akpress.org).

Table of Contents:

Craig Hughes: Introduction

p.m: From Midnight to Dawn: Permutations of a Crisis and the Comedy of the Commons

Steven Colatrella: Comments on Midnight Notes 30 Years

George Caffentzis: Two Themes of Midnight Notes: Work/Refusal of Work and Enclosure/Commons

Chris Vance: A Short Reflection on Midnight Notes

Team Colors Collective: High Entropy Workers Unite!

Sabu Kohso: An East Asian Mediator’s View of Midnight Notes Collective

Jenna Loyd: Beyond Walls and Cages: State Violence, Racism, and the Possibility of Abolition Economies

Manuel Yang: Elegy for Midnight Notes?

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Privatization

THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC SPACE? RESISTING ENCLOSURE

Neoliberalism continues to transform public space in geographically uneven and variegated ways, with far reaching and profound consequences.  On the first day, the conference will provide context for various means of privatization and elaborate on language and visions for discussing this issue.  On the second day, workshops will bring together students, activists, artists, and organizations engaged in imagining and practicing new and creative means of resistance to the new round of enclosures taking place on a global scale.

Day 1 Conference: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City

9:00 a.m. Introduction and Welcome – Setha Low, President; William P. Kelly; and Provost Chase F. Robinson of CUNY Graduate Center

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Privatization of Public Space: Historical and Contemporary New York City – with Sharon Zukin, Gregory Smithsimon, Andrew Newman

Break

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Reconsidering Privatization: Neoliberal Strategies, Securitization and Privacy – with Kevin Ward, Setha Low, Kurt Iveson

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Beyond Public and Private: Privatization and the Global Fiscal Crisis – with Neil Smith, Katherine Verdery, Bill McKinney

Break

4-5:30 Visions of the Future: Race, Class and Gender – with Mindy Fullilove, David Harvey, Cindi Katz

5:30-6:00 p.m.

Wrap up and further discussion

6:00-7:00 p.m. Reception

Day 2 Workshops: Thursday, April 22, 2010 Rooms 5414 and 5409 (5th Floor) CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City

To RSVP for Day 2, find us on Facebook (search “resisting enclosure”) or RSVP by sending an email to resistingenclosure@riseup.net! RSVP is not require d for entrance but helps us make sure we accommodate everyone! (Please include any special needs information.)

9:00 a.m.  Registration

9:30 a.m. Opening discussion, with David Harvey

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Workshop 1:  Anti-Gentrification and Community Self-Determination, with CAAAV’s Chinatown Tenants Union and Picture the Homeless Workshop 2:  Artistic Interruptions in Everyday Life, with Dara Greenwald, Manu Sachdeva, Jeff Stark and Jordan Seiler

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on site)

1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Workshop 3:  Neoliberalism, Securitization and Enclosures in South Asia, with Ahilan Kadirgamar, Biju Mathew, Preeti Sampat and Saadia Toor

Workshop 4: The University and the Commons, with Silvia Federici, Malav Kanuga, Mary Taylor and the Coalition to Preserve Community

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
“Asking We Walk”: Collective Theorizations/Mapping Emancipations?

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Recept ion

Free and Open.  Food and refreshments will be provided.

Sponsors:
Public Space Research Group at the Center for Human Environments, Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, Ph.D. Programs in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Sociology, Doctoral Students’ Council, SpaceTime Research Collective (STRC) and the South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI)

Organized by:
Setha Low, The Graduate Center, CUNY; Kevin Ward, University of Manchester; Lalit Batra, Doctoral Student in Earth and Environmental Sciences; Fiona Jeffries, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Place, Culture and Politics; Erin Siodmak, Doctoral Student in Sociology; Laurel Mei Turbin, Doctoral Student in Earth and Environmental Sciences

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Privatization

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Pirates Only

PIRATES AND PIRACY – MATERIAL REALITIES AND CULTURAL MYTHS

Editorial Notes: Pirates and Piracy – Material Realities and Cultural Myths

By Andrew Opitz

This special issue of darkmatter sets out to examine the complicated and often incongruous cultural meanings assigned to pirates and piracy in the twenty-first century. Debates about piracy have long featured certain telling contradictions. At different times, pirates have been seen as both violent monsters and colorful folk heroes. They have been cast by historians and cultural critics as both capitalist marauders and militant workers fighting for a restoration of the commons. How can we account for these seemingly incompatible visions? Of course, it is important to observe that pirates were hardly uniform in their social and political orientations. Some were greedy opportunists. Some were desperate sailors and slaves driven to mutiny. Others were somewhere in-between. We should also recognize that our understanding of piracy is powerfully shaped by our economic interests and our relationship with the law. The propertied targets of piratical theft are quick to view pirates as criminal actors outside the bounds of civilized behaviour, but the dispossessed are inclined to take a more nuanced approach that admires the defiance of the pirates at the same time as it fears their violence.

It is also important to note that pirates now have a symbolic importance that transcends the basic material conditions behind their banditry. Our enduring cultural fascination with pirates is tied to their status as celebrated figures of rebellion and nonconformity in popular novels and films. Although the actual history of maritime robbery is sordid and contradictory, the pirate has become a compelling symbol of freedom: freedom from oppressive work routines; freedom from polite behaviour; freedom from institutional controls; freedom from restrictive property laws; freedom from unjust social conventions surrounding race and gender roles. We now apply the pirate label to an assortment of activities – from the formation of transgressive sexual identities to the technology-assisted defiance of copyright law – that have little or nothing to do with the sea or those who “go down to it in ships.” The articles assembled in this special issue take a broad approach to the study of pirates and piracy, examining diverse subjects ranging from the working-class politics of transatlantic piracy in the eighteenth century to the actions of Nigerian media pirates in the twenty-first century and recent debates about Somali pirates within East African immigrant communities in North America.

The authors who contributed to this special issue of darkmatter have approached the cultural politics of pirates and piracy from different angles. They are historians, literary critics, legal scholars and media/cultural theorists. However, their scholarship is linked by the shared understanding that modern piracy, like the modern world itself, is inextricably bound to the history of colonial and neo-colonial relations of production and the legacy of racial and class conflict that they produced – a history that forged the global capitalist order that continues to shape our everyday relationships with other people. 

Pirates are often dismissed in the media as exotic anachronisms – colorful characters out of step with present realities. But the forces that produced, and continue to produce pirates – global shipping, the extraction of resources from colonial and neocolonial holdings, the mobilization and control of labor in the service of investment capital – still drive our world today. Studying pirates and their ongoing cultural resonance is hardly a frivolous activity. It is necessary for a true understanding of the socially uneven, violent and unstable world in which we live – a world that is still very much at sea.

Andrew Opitz
Guest Editor

Editorial Notes: Pirates and Piracy – Material Realities and Cultural Myths by Andrew Opitz • 20 Dec 09

Revolution Bootlegged: Pirate Resistance in Nigeria’s Broken Infrastructure by Jason Crawford • 20 Dec 09

Digital Pirates and the Enclosure of the Intellect by Irmak Ertuna • 20 Dec 09

Where’s the Booty?: The Stakes of Textual and Economic Piracy as Seen Through the Work of Kathy Acker by Paige Sweet • 20 Dec 09

Life Under the Jolly Roger: Reflections on Golden Age Piracy – Interview with Gabriel Kuhn by Nora Räthzel • 20 Dec 09

Hostis humani generis. History of a multi-faceted word by Salvatore Poier • 20 Dec 09

Atlantic Orientalism: How Language in Jefferson’s America Defeated the Barbary Pirates by Angela Sutton • 20 Dec 09

Voyage of the Black Joke: Piracy and Gallows Humor in an Era of Primitive Accumulation by Andrew Opitz • 20 Dec 09

The Pirate and the Colonial Project: Kanhoji Angria by Derek L. Elliott • 20 Dec 09

Unravelling Narratives of Piracy: Discourses of Somali Pirates by Muna Ali and Zahra Murad • 20 Dec 09

‘Liberty or Life!’: The Convict Pirates of the Wellington by Erin Ihde • 20 Dec 09

See: http://www.darkmatter101.org/site/category/journal/issues/5-pirates-and-piracy/

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Polygraph 21

Polygraph 21

POLYGRAPH 21

 

Study, Students, Universities

Issue Editors: Luka Aarsenjuk and Michelle Koerner

Introduction: Available as a PDF file, Luka Arsenjuk and Michelle Koerner

Creating Commons: Divided Governance, Participatory Management, and Struggles Against Enclosure in the University, Isaac Kamola and Eli Meyerhoff

Surplus Knowledge; or, Can We Teach Today? Juliet Flower MacCannell

Destinies of the University, Alessandro Russo, Translated by Roberta Orlandini

Risky Business: Why Public Is Losing to Private in American Research, Christopher Newfield

The Financialization of Student Life: Five Propositions on Student Debt, Morgan Adamson

Axiomatic Equality: Jacques Rancière and the Politics of Contemporary Education, Nina Power

A ‘Nueva Politicidad’, A Different Epistemology: An Introduction to ‘Colectivo Situaciones’ and ‘Universidad Trashumante’, Beatriz Llenin-Figueroa

An Elephant at School and Other Texts, Colectivo Situaciones, Translated by Beatriz Llenin-Figueroa

Walking the Other Country: Reflections on ‘Trashumancia’ and Popular Education, Universidad Trashumante, Translated by Beatriz Llenin-Figueroa

On Study: A ‘Polygraph’ Roundtable Discussion with Marc Bousquet, Stefano Harney, and Fred Moten, Available as a PDF file.

Universities in France: Forty Years After May ’68, Renaud Bécot, Translated by Justin Izzo

The Gated Campus, Its Borderless Subjects, and the Neighborhood Nearby, Gökçe Günel, Books in Review

Marc Bousquet, How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (2008), Available as a PDF file, Review by Gerry Canavan

Antonio Negri, The Porcelain Workshop: For a New Grammar of Politics (2008); Paolo Virno, Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation (2008); Christian Marazzi, Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy (2008), Review by Alex Greenberg

John R. Betz, After Enlightenment: The Post-Secular Vision of J. G. Hamann (2009), Review by Lucas Perkins

‘Polygraph’ 21 is at: http://www.duke.edu/web/polygraph/poly21.html

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