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Fwd: CFP "Beneath the University, the Commons" April 8-11, 2010

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  • Jen Gieseking
    Please forward widely. Apologies for cross-posting. -- Call for Papers/Ideas ... Beneath the University, the Commons A conference at the University of
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2009
      Please forward widely.  Apologies for cross-posting.

      Call for Papers/Ideas

      "Beneath the University, the Commons"
      A conference at the University of Minnesota
      April 8-11, 2010

      Seemingly discrete struggles over the conditions of university life
      have erupted around the world within the past year. These struggles
      share certain commonalities: outrage over precarious and exploitative
      conditions, the occupation of university spaces, and goals of
      reclaiming education from state and corporate interests.  It is
      becoming increasingly apparent that recent struggles over the
      university are not merely discrete events. They express a wider
      collective desire for direct control over the means of production and
      forms of life; a desire to create relationships of learning,
      collaboration, and innovation beyond the university’s attempts to
      quantify and discipline them.

      Although the modern university has served the interests of the state
      and capital since its inception, the past thirty years have witnessed
      tightened ties with corporate, financial, and geopolitical interests.
      The subsumption of higher education under capital-driven business
      models has intensified the expropriation of the products of
      cooperative labor.  With the proliferation of student-consumer and
      scholar-manager subjectivities, we increasingly find ourselves
      uncomfortably and often unwittingly occupying the role of active
      participants in these trends.  As the global struggles over the past
      year have illustrated, however, opposition to these mechanisms of
      capture is mounting, as are creative strategies for alternatives and
      exodus.  Struggles against the corporate university are linking up
      across borders; the slogan of the International Student Movement, “One
      World – One Struggle : Education is Not for Sale,” and the slogan of
      the Anomalous Wave, “We Won’t Pay for Your Crisis,” appear in actions
      across Europe, the Americas, and South Asia.

      “Beneath the University, the Commons” builds on the work accomplished
      by activists, organizers, artists, and academics at the “Re-thinking”
      and “Re-working” the University Conferences of 2008 and 2009
      (www.reworkingtheu.org), while expanding the scope of our discussions
      and bringing together more international scholars in order to address
      an increasingly volatile global situation.  Our goal is to aggregate
      and accelerate our knowledge of university conditions and our
      collective acts of resistance to them, including alternative forms of
      engaging with each other and with the world.  To this end, the 2010
      conference will draw together a diverse set of people committed to
      exploring how we can understand, create, and experiment with the
      commons beneath the university.  Our questions include but are not
      limited to:

      //How do we enact and sustain occupations of the university in the
      exceptional times and spaces of the everyday?

      //How do we generate an international “undercommons,” maintaining
      subversive positions as actors within, rather than of, the spaces of
      the university?

      //How can unionization projects and occupation struggles learn from
      and collaborate with one another?

      //How do we negotiate the line between stability and revolutionary

      //How do we open up sustainable and livable spaces for radical
      research, education, and scholarship without being subsumed by the
      publish-or-perish disciplinary apparatus?

      //How can we collaboratively map and share research, information,
      tactics, and cultures?

      //In recognition that our conditions are a part of a larger set of
      global occupations and injustices, how do we link with social
      movements outside of and across the university?

      This four-day event will consist of two days of conference sessions
      bracketed by two days of workshops, writing collaborations, skill
      shares, and plenty of time for sustained conversations among
      participants.  We are accepting proposals both for formal papers and
      for non-conventional forms of participation.

      -- If you would like to present a paper, please submit an abstract and
      a CV or brief biographical statement.

      -- If you would like to participate in another way (by leading a
      workshop, facilitating a roundtable, presenting media, etc), please
      submit a brief (1-2 pages) description of the proposed activity and
      include what kind of resources we would need to provide, along with a
      CV or brief biographical statement.

      All proposals should be addressed to conference@..., and
      must be received by January 1, 2010.

      For more info, see  http://beneaththeu.org


      Jen Gieseking
      Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Psychology
      The Graduate Center, City University of New York
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