AtHQ – Let’s take over the CCS

In the attack the headquarter events there were voices asking for changes. Some were exited, some were frustrated, some were content, some were dissatisfied. What could we make out of that? What comes next after the head quarter was attacked? What if there remains another headquarter with a new dress?

Did we just create something that further justifies our existence and our way of being? We, teaching staff and students, are all fulfilling the request of institutions, since we have been codified by a series of formats, phd seminars, reading groups, exams, panels. The way the programs are planned and carried out already determine our ways of being and codify our identities – both as individuals and as an institution.

We appreciate all the discussions during the 12 hours meeting, we are also impressed by most of the insightful critiques. The wishes for changes, transformations, and twists were, however, not common wishes. They did not have a goal, a direction, or a unified identity. What comes next is still a question?

This is where we can start. Instead of thinking of how to improve teaching and learning, we want to think from the perspective of community. Institution itself brings us into being, but there lies another concern of “being with”, which has more to do with interaction, communication. This does not mean coming behind one cause, under one banner, but it means being together after we have come together. The task is not to define a common goal or to change the institution, because we are the goal and we are the institution.

We are writing to invite your participation to a project, which aims at a more radical way of rethinking the event. We have only one proposition to make: WE HAVE TO TAKE OVER THE CENTRE TOGETHER. The only way to attack the headquarter, is to abolish the headquarter. We, the students and those staff members who are willing to, should take over the planning and the building of the centre (not the money or the jobs) – for one year as an experiment. To “Take over” is not to replace the headquarter, or seize the power, but to conquest the headquarter with a new form of communication – through being together, and starting our thinking as well as our learning all over again each day. There is no power to be seized, there is only power to be or to do.

We look for a communication, which transforms the relations between educator and educatee from a subject-object relation into a process of active sharing of knowledge, experience and intuition. It means deconstructing the hierarchies and identities we have voluntarily taken as students and teachers, as experts and non-experts. We can start it as a project. We can call it minoritarian thinking. We can call it learning with each others, instead of from others.

What are the questions to be asked? Maybe we should not have any predetermined way to do things, we should not do anything if we do not want it. We can ask, who should plan the MA and PhD programs? Do we want a PhD seminar? If we do, who should plan it – the students or the staff, or both? Do we want to read in the seminars, or do we want to start our thinking from somewhere else? How can students take part in the research? How can we make students contribute, give, instead of taking or receiving? How could students run the centre together with the staff, or how can we abolish these identities altogether?

You can say that we have already asked these questions, that we already have more freedom than many others. But our task is to ask, whether this really is the case… Let’s ask ourselves: why do we have readers waiting for us when we enrol; why does the staff know what the students are doing but the students do not know what the staff is doing.
As we all know, the main obstacle for changes in the academia has traditionally been the common reluctance to give up the structures of power and authorities. If we have any trust at all in the CCS, we must believe this cannot be the case here. In other words, this is not supposed to be a student revolt, but creating a coming community for all of us at the CCS.

We, the initiators, call for everyone to take over our thinking, as an opening but not as a ready-made program. We do not have any answers to your questions: the communication should start here: we want to here your responses and meet you next week at Laurie Grove. Meanwhile, all those interested, please, contact us or use the newborn wiki: ccsgold.pbwiki.com

Yuk Hui: huiyuk(a)gmail.com
Hanna Kuusela: hanna.r.kuusela(a)gmail.com

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Comments

  • bixa  On 12/06/2008 at 10:34 am

    What are you guys, the Red Guards, ready to eat your own?

    ccsgold said

    at 12:01 am on Jun 12, 2008

    “I like the enthusiasm here and the attempt to carry the event further, but I find a few things mentioned a bit silly.

    For example, what’s the problem with having a reading pack waiting for us when we arrive? No one tells you you have to read it, or what not to read. And what is this point about the students not knowing what the staff are doing? All the staff have a profile page on the ccs website, including bibliography and research interests; john’s blog is advertised on every email he sends us.

    I agree that there is a necessity for something like a community able to realise its potential for self-determination. But I think you’re asking for things we already more-or-less have. What about the difficult questions of the horrific direction academia is going as a whole, and what we can do about it? How is scrapping the reader going to make any difference there?

    James
    ccsgold said

    at 8:34 am on Jun 12, 2008

    ‘The only way to take ove the headquarter is to abolish the headquarter’ sounds very differently from ‘how can students run the centre together with the staff?’. The first sentence sounds like a war-slogan. You or me. The second sounds like active co-existence in a spirit of mutual recognition. A ‘communication which transforms the relations between educator and educatee from a subject-object relation into a process of active sharing of knowledge, experience and institution’ seems to me to be possible onlyy with the second sentence. why should anyone in the Centre want to work together with you, if you threaten to extinguish them? Just an observation (relatively) from the outside.

    Julia

    You don’t have permission to comment on this page.”

    I can’t comment on that wiki – no permission! But this blog is a great resource. Unusual – read the categories under Education. Wonderful.

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  • Hanna  On 12/06/2008 at 10:25 pm

    You can find Yuk’s response to these sooments, and also to the issue of us being Read guards (wow, didn’t know that) in the wiki (which is also now open for comments and editing).

    http://ccsgold.pbwiki.com/Response-to-James-and-several-clarifications

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  • john hutnyk  On 16/06/2008 at 11:26 am

    It would be good to have Reading, but I’m also not necessarily so keen on having red guards (though I love the thought that people might think there was so much at stake [as if China = CCS, what a thought. Rise Up!). Anyway, I can see how the title of AtHQ and the desire to rip it all up and start again might lead someone to think that is what you were suggesting. But I’d like to see the HQ thought of more as a pole of attraction for critique – the CCS the place from which attacks on various powers – the university, the education system, the state, the war machine – might be nurtured, encouraged, launched and sustained. Ripping it up and starting again might be one productive way to do that, but I am inclined to be more open. Let 1000 schools bloom and 100 flowers of thought contend.

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