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Philosophy

MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY PHILOSOPHY CAMPAIGN – UPDATE 26th MAY 2010

Campaign update Wednesday 26 May 2010 (http://savemdxphil.com/)

1. John Protevi and Todd May have posted a petition calling for an international academic boycott of Middlesex University, http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/academic-boycott-of-middlesex-university.html. Several hundred well-placed people have already signed it, in the space of a few hours. Please spread the word about this, far & wide.

2. The poet Michael Rosen renounced his visiting professor at Middlesex today. He explained that “On account of the action of Middlesex University over the Philosophy Department, I would like to inform Professor Ahmad that I would like to renounce my visiting professorship. I do not wish to be a visiting professor at Middlesex University. Best wishes, Michael Rosen.”

3. This morning, professors Osborne and Hallward were denied managerial permission to attend an emergency meeting of their union, the UCU, scheduled for Friday 28 May. They were also denied permission to attend the UCU annual general meeting scheduled for next Wednesday, and a meeting of the University’s self-constituted Professors Group.

4. Collective pressure to greylist i.e. boycott Middlesex University is growing rapidly. The external examiners for the Middlesex Philosophy department have already announced their refusal to collaborate with next month’s assessment boards, and colleagues in other departments may soon follow suit. A boycott by external examiners will have a significant and immediate impact on the University.

5. Last Friday Middlesex management told the four suspended students that their hearings would take place this Friday 28 May at the Hendon campus. Fiona Fall, who will preside over the hearings, suddenly decided this morning that it would be ‘better for the students’ to hold the meeting at Trent Park instead, since it is their ‘home campus.’ The four students explained that they would nonetheless prefer for the hearing to go ahead at Hendon as originally planned. But Fiona Fall has made up her mind. ‘As my understanding is that a rally of support is being organised at Hendon,’ she told one of the students, ‘I have decided that Trent Park continues to be the best most calm place to hold the hearings for both students and the panel.’

5. Confirmed speakers for the rally at Hendon on Thursday 27 May from 4pm include Alex Callinicos (KCL), Richard George (Campaign for Better Transport; Plane Stupid), Paul Gilroy (LSE), Nina Power (Roehampton), Jim Wolfreys (UCU), among others. Please circulate the rally announcement and flyer (http://savemdxphil.com/) to everyone who might be sympathetic.

The Campaign
26 May 2010.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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Philosophy

MIDDLESEX PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT CLOSURE – VIDEO

A video of interviews with those protesting to save Middlesex University Philosophy Department from closure: http://vimeo.com/11523774

More information about the protest & campaign here: http://savemdxphil.com/

Update 9th May 2010:

There was a very interesting article in The Observer today about leading academics backing student and staff actions to save philosophy at Middlesex University. Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou (amonsgt others) have spoken out about the importance and quality of philosophy at Middlesex University.

The article can be found on p.8 in the hard copy version of The Observer:

Doward, J. (2010) Academic revolt over philosophy cutbacks, The Observer, 9th May, p.8.

However, the online version has a different title:

Doward, J. (2010) Middlessex University cuts spark international protest from philosophers, The Observer, 9th May, online at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/09/middlesex-university-cuts-protest-philosophers

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

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

Nietzsche

CLOSURE OF PHILOSOPHY AT MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY – A MESSAGE FROM PETER HALLWARD

Dear friends and colleagues

I regret to say that Middlesex University has just decided, rather abruptly, to close all its Philosophy programmes and to shut down our Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP; http://www.web.mdx.ac.uk/crmep/)  

Staff include Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Mark Kelly, Christian Kerslake, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford.  Some members of the Centre may be laid off more or less immediately, and some will remain temporarily, to teach out the programmes.

As you might expect we’re scrambling to put together a response, and to begin with we’re asking colleagues and friends to send a brief email or letter about the closure to the University administrators who have made this unexpected decision. If you have time to write such a message, please feel free to extract some points from a draft letter that a few of our most recent collaborators will be sending later today to Times Higher Education, below.

The main people involved in the decision are as follows:

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Michael Driscoll, m.driscoll@mdx.ac.uk <mailto:M.Driscoll@mdx.ac.uk>

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Waqar Ahmad, w.ahmad@mdx.ac.uk mailto:w.ahmad@mdx.ac.uk

Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Margaret House, m.house@mdx.ac.uk <mailto:m.house@mdx.ac.uk>

Dean of the School of Arts & Education, Ed Esche, e.esche@mdx.ac.uk mailto:e.esche@mdx.ac.uk

(The full set of emails is then: m.driscoll@mdx.ac.uk; w.ahmad@mdx.ac.uk <mailto:w.ahmad@mdx.ac.uk>; m.house@mdx.ac.uk; e.esche@mdx.ac.uk <mailto:e.esche@mdx.ac.uk>).

If you are able to send this sort of message, and are willing for your message to be posted subsequently on a campaign website or blog, please copy or blind-copy (BCC) it to our campaign email, savemdxphil@gmail.com   <mailto:savemdxphil@gmail.com> .

By tomorrow I expect we’ll have set up a petition to save the CRMEP, and will get back to you about this soon.

Although it may already be too late to save Philosophy at Middlesex, some decisive action now may help protect other vulnerable subjects at the University, and in the UK more generally. It’s been very encouraging, over the course of today, to receive dozens of messages of support and solidarity.

I’ll circulate more information about the campaign to save the CRMEP once we’ve had time to set up a basic website or blog.

All best,
Peter

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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