Monthly Archives: November 2008

The double crisis of the university and the global economy

144_44821[Info from the people at Mute]

Talk: Wednesday 26 November 2008 at 4pm
Goldsmiths University of London – Warmington Tower 1210

For a number of weeks in Italy the entire education system – from universities to elementary schools, from students to researchers and from parents to teachers – has been mobilizing. Marches, occupations, demonstrations, pickets and blockages of the metropolitan flow have replaced the dreary rhythm of school timetables and university courses. The protests are directed against the new budget cuts implemented by Berlusconi’s government last summer, which seriously undermine the public nature of education and research.

The university movement – self-named the ‘Anomalous Wave’ – acts within a specific context, such as the long crisis and decline of the Italian higher education system. However, it also critically underlines common trends in the transformations affecting the university at the European and transnational level: i.e. the Bologna process, the corporatization of education and the changes of the welfare system, the central role of knowledge in the mode of production, the rise of casualised labor, the emergence of a new type of student-worker figure.

Moreover, one of its key slogans is particularly interesting ‘We won’t pay for your crisis’. It indicates the critical intersection of a double global crisis: the university crisis and the financial crisis. The rise of a ‘debt generation’ is one of the points at which this intersection is clearly observable. But the movement is also an occasion to formulate a deeper, more complex analysis of this double crisis, in order to allow a debate between different perspectives to topics such as the rise of a global university and its various forms of translation, the conflicts in the process of knowledge production, the role of networks in the education
and financial markets.

[pic, ancient pillars hold up the University of Bologna]

Taiwan talk Dec 14 2008


Culture University Firesale – Sussex 18.11.09

101_0160Tuesday 18th Nov 2008
Russell Building 12 Sussex Uni

The Anthropology Society welcomes Prof John Hutnyk (Goldsmiths) to present his talk:
The Culture University Firesale:
Scholarship Ablaze in the Teaching Factory

Critique as Ideology: The Dissident Left and Maoists in India

A seminar organised by the Xenos Research Group, Department of Sociology, with the collaboration of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Department of Politics

The first of two talks on communalism, secularism and the Left in India by Saroj Giri, Xenos Visiting Fellow. (See also Thursday 13 November 2008).

Event Information

Location: Room 307, Richard Hoggart Building
Cost: Free – all are welcome
Time: 12 November 2008, 18:00 - 19:30

Nyx, a Noctournal

Launch Party for Nyx, a Noctournal

When: 20 November 2008, 7-11pm
Where: upstairs at the Gourmet Bar, 44 Lewisham Way, New Cross, London.

In honour of the first issue of the journal Nyx, a Noctournal created by current and former students of the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Performances will include readings by Marc Teare, Olga Panades, Tamsyn Adams and Jonathan Brookes, as well as a screening of Olga Panades’ video The City of Fear.

Come and see the issue, buy a copy, have something to drink and enjoy performances by the writers of Nyx, a Noctournal!  And bring all of your friends!

No Borders Italian Style (excuse)

Information for 29 November Italia Pulita/Clean Italy Event.

BAGAGLIOnoBORDERS is a political/artistic group of Italians, people from Britain and other countries, based in London. It is an anti-sexist, anti-racist and pacifist group.

Our aim as Europeans is to raise consciousness among people in the UK of the worrying change in political atmosphere in Italy, which has come about under the administration of Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia, in alliance with Lega and Alleanza Nazionale. Recent events are all signs of an increasingly
disturbing climate in Italy:
• The proposed legislation to finger print Roma people
• Proposals to segregate schooling for children of immigrant families
• The frequent racist and homophobic physical attacks
• The exodus of young Italians to other European countries

BAGAGLIOnoBORDERS works to create and to support visible occasions to promote cultural and political awareness through open live-events and demonstrations. We are in support of all minorities (racial, religious and sexual) who live in Italy and are continuously misrepresented by the mainstream Italian media.

Our first performance-art event, ‘Italia Pulita/Clean Italy’, to clean Italy of corruption, racism, sexism and homophobia, will be held:
• Outside the Italian Embassy at 4 Grosvenor Square, London W1
• On Saturday 29 November at 12 (noon)
We invite everyone to come along with cleaning cloths, feather dusters etc, to join us in symbolically cleaning the outside of the Italian Embassy.
facebook: bagaglio noborders

See also here.

Vote Vote Vote

dogcd1sIts a long time since I looked at the blog stats for Trinketization, but I was provoked to do so by wordpress booster ad page’s calculated posting of words like ‘vote’ yesterday, no doubt catching plenty of traffic not looking for any other material than the obvious. Anyway, the stats page is probably interesting only to me (and not very) – but some of the top posts, with 500 plus visitors, are the newer ones – ie the Sonic Borders post, the Attack the Headquarters ones, and so on. But in terms of voting, I guess its the ones that came in with the lowest number of hits that strike me as in need of attention. There are of course some near empty posts that deserve neglect, but others… I had not thought, for example, that this post on Asian Communists in the UK: ‘Dialectic of here and there‘, would be at the bottom of the list. As a gesture of support for a lonely post I link to it here.

Oh, and this one too – often read on my old site, but neglected by wordpress. Coffee! Yes we can.

Sonic Border Program again

Sonic Border/ Sonic Diaspora/Beyond Text

Host: Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths

Monday, 3 November – Rooms 137a and 138

2:30 -3:00 pm Chair: John Hutnyk

Julian Henriques ‘ Thinking Through Sound’

3:00 – 4:00 pm

David Graeber. ‘Prisoners of Sound’

4:00 – 4:20 pm – Coffee and tea break.

4:20-6:30 pm

Johannes Anyuru and Aleksander Motturi. ‘Clandestino Festival in age of Ethnicism.’

6:30 – 7:00 pm

Explanation of Coventry Event, introduction of those from Kolkata and other guests.

7:00 pm – Drinks and dinner at Gourmet Bar/Rosemary Branch Lewisham Way


Tuesday, 4 November – Rooms 308 and 307

1:00 – 2:00 pm

Les Back. ‘Siren’s Cry: The War on Terror and the Carceral City.’

2:00 – 2:15pm – Coffee and tea break

2:15 – 3:45 pm Chair: Anamik Saha

Rangan Chakravarty. Sound and Fury: The Language of Music: Contemporary Bangla Bands’

Paramita Brahmachari. ‘Bollywood on the telly’

3:45 – 4:00 pm – Coffee and tea break

4:00 – 6:00 pm Chair: Leila Whitley

Marc Teare. The Secret History of a Musick Yet To Be.’

Carla Mueller-Schulzke. ‘Transcultural Soundscapes: Creative Musical Practice and the Politics of Sound.’

Kiwi Menrath. ‘Sounds Aquatic: From Oceans and Flows to Muddy Waters.’

Rico Reyes. ‘Echolocating: Barrionics, Colonial Melancholia, and Technological Euphoria’

7:00 pm – Tuesday evening we will be travelling to SE1 to join Thomas Altheimer Europe For President at Alma Enterprises’ project space on November 4th in Glasshill Street, SE1. More details here.


Wednesday 5th Nov – Deptford TV event – see separate flyer at bottom of this page.

Thursday, 6 November


Interdisciplinary Colloquium – Rooms 137-138

Chair: Hanna Kuusela

11:00- 11:30 Introduction: Performing Crisis- Nicolás Salazar-Sutil

11:30-11:50 Crisis? What Crisis? Perspectives on the Credit Crunch- Andy Christodoulou

11:50- 12:30 The Madness of Decision- Dr James Burton- Goldsmiths College.

12:30- 13:30 Lunch break

Chair: Yuk Hui

13:30-14:30 Keynote Contribution: Professor Teivo Teivainen, University of Helsinki

14:30- 15:00 Value formation and crisis – Operativity of narrative – Lee Wan-Gi

15:00- 15:30 Something Between us: exploring social-fragmentation, philosophical anxieties and the economic crisis in America – John Ferrara

15:30- 16:00 Coffee Break

Chair: Cristóbal Bianchi

16:00-16:50 The inchoate situation of decline and the rhetoric of crisis- Dr Ina Dietzsch, University of Durham

16:50- 17:20 HO2Crisis: Water Wars and its trickling effect- Eva Slotegraaf

17:20- 17:50 Debord, Lautreaont and the aesthetics of negativity- Tom Bunyard

17:50- 18:30 The financial crisis as a window of opportunity: Hanna Kuusela


Friday, 7 November – Rooms 308 and 307

11:00 – 1:00 pm

Film: Jahaji Music, India in the Caribbean -Presented by Surabhi

1:00 – 2:30pm – Lunch Break

2:30 – 4:00 pm

John Speyer and Music In Detention

‘Identities and Interactions in Border Institutions: Music in Immigration Removal Centres’

4:00 – 4:30 pm – Coffee and tea Break

4:30 – 6:00 pm

Camille Barbagallo. ‘Crossing borders. The xtalk project: free English classes for migrant sex workers.’

Karen Tam. ‘Songs not quite from Impanema.’

David Hysek. ‘Quinta del Sordo – sense, theatre and sound’

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Future Events: February in Berlin, November in Copenhagen.


Saturday 8 Nov – Noise of the Past – see separate flyer at bottom of here.

Sonic Border on the anniversary of Laika

Sonic Borders begins today at Goldsmiths (draft program here) – can’t sleep because its also the 51st anniversary of the space dog’s lonely death. Also, more favourably as an augur, its the 91st anniversary of the October Revolution – in November. So I should post something about dates and repetition…

Instead, typing up some notes from last week when, to give a talk in Malmö, I crossed the border from Copenhagen into Sweden by train; across a bridge, in blinding rain and mist, to the sound of the rhythmic rumble-rush of steel wheels on rail. There was no passport or ticket check, no indication of passing the border, no visible marker of nation or difference. Only the shift of language station announcements from Danish to Swedish registers the change.

The border is not only geography and vision – though a line on the map and the sign at immigration control are our most immediate experiences of control – the border is also a process, an order, an iteration, uneven, performative and aural. The border is not just at the edge or boundary, it is also in the street, in the post, in the pub. The border operates between people. The hand raised to silence the offer of the migrant DVD salesperson who interrupts your quiet enjoyment of a beer – that too is a brutal moment of border control. Although of course we can insist that state boundaries are also porous, continually bypassed, more and less easily, in so many different ways; immigration control still stands as a block to movement and mediation.

The resonance of the war and power is strong here – echoing with the sounds of silence, dispossession and death to which our eyes become deaf, our ears have become blind.

Is our boundary prejudice built into the structure of the border control? A logic of presence, geography and vision govern the strong sense of truth that belongs to knowledge. We say knowledge is divided into fields (geography) and seem most often to designate knowing through a confident designation. We indicate truths by pointing (vision), there is presence in understanding. Now perhaps there is an alternative in the metaphoric code with which we name movement and sound. It may be possible to hear a more critical tone, to raise questions about the assertions of certitude – when critical we say we are not sure we agree, we doubt, we say we do not like the tone. Can thinking through travel and sound suggest new ways of linking across the borders between us all – as sound crosses the border in ways that tamper with visual and geographic blocks (pirate radio, music, language, the sound of falling bombs…). But we also say, when critical, that we cannot see the point. Ahh, with this last the too easy divide of metaphor into those that point and assert knowledge through vision and those that question and challenge through sound does finally break down. But perhaps there is something in sound that can suggest more, that allows us at least to listen to another possibility, temporarily opening up ears and minds.

It is often thought, but we could be more precise – that movement across borders of all kinds is a good thing, breaking taboos and genre rules is an unmitigated good. Of course, cross disciplinarity is claimed as a boon (in cultural studies for sure), but clearly other crossings – of capital, of weapons, of imperial power – are not so welcome. Capital moves one way, surplus value extraction another. Cross-border global movement (music distribution, television news, democracy) might not always be a boon. No doubt pirate radio enjoys much approval, but communications media also have a less favourable heritage (radio as used, say, by the National Socialists in Germany) and present (the contemporary normative narrations of ‘democracy’ by the Voice of America, the BBC, or with the televisual uniformity of CNN). A more careful thinking that notes the metaphors of critique, distinguishes movement and sonic registers that affirm or disavow, works to undo that which destroys and divides, fosters that which unites, organises capacity to live otherwise with others…

Crossing the border, a great achievement, pushing the boundaries, also sometimes caught and fraught in contradictions. For cross-disciplinarity and border transgression, against control by Capital – we need to sublate movement out of, under and around control. No simple task. The sound of a dog barking in space might caution against uncritical celebrations. Lest we forget Laika, dead on Sputnik 2 these 51 years ago today.


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