Welcome notes Goldsmiths CCS – JH #newterm

 

a million urgent fiddles to do on the blog, website, ordering of books or some such, then meetings, campaigns, the fucking UKBA, new students, information emails, a student shafted by MET/UKBA, colleagues in disciplinary hearings in need of support, general chaos, and marking, lets not forget the marking, and the plagiarism cases than need to be – well, second offence really should get more than a book thrown at them – but then there is the welcome drinks, the welcome party, the welcome seminar, tutorial and photo opportunity. I lay myself down on New Cross Road and wait…

Joy Devotion

http://www.joydevotion.com/2012/06/joy-devotion-july-19th-at-xoyo-in.html

 

 

Joy Devotion: A Year in the Life of a Rock Shrine at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone On July 19, 2012, XOYO Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a new show, Joy Devotion: Trash, Trinkets and Tributes at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone.

Taken on the 18th of every month for a year between 2009-10 (including the 30th anniversary of Curtis’s death), Joy Devotion documents the evolution of death- and of memory. The trinkets, tributes and trash on the Curtis memorial stone is in constant flux, reflecting the ever migrating myth of the vocalist himself- a harsh and glaring contrast to the finality of death. Joy Devotion captures for the first time the year in the life of the rock shrine- existing almost as a destination unto itself. With each visitor, identity, ‘memory’, meaning and the legacy of Curtis and Joy Division changes and flows- similar to the seasons rotating, the movement in the landscape of the cemetery itself.

Located just over 15 miles outside of the English hub of Manchester, Macclesfield was the home of the late singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, front man for post-punk pioneers Joy Division. The ashes of Curtis are now buried minutes away from where he lived, at the Macclesfield Cemetery and Crematorium. Though it has been over 30 years since he took his life, an estimated 2,000 people annually make their way to the small, quaint Northern town, on a quest to pay homage to Curtis. Travelling from as far flung destinations as Japan, Texas and Australia, fans embark on sonic pilgrimages to walk the streets that inspired Curtis, see the house where he once inhabited- and pay their respects at Curtis’s memorial stone.

As a part of her PhD research, photographer Jennifer Otter captured images of fans, flowers and fauna every month over the course of a year. Joy Devotion marks the first time the pictures have been showcased together on display for the public.

For more information, please contact Jennyo@JKOMedia.com or go to http://joydevotion.blogspot.co.uk. XOYO Gallery is located at 32-37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AP, http://xoyo.co.uk/gallery

Joy Devotion

http://www.joydevotion.com/2012/06/joy-devotion-july-19th-at-xoyo-in.html

 

 

Joy Devotion: A Year in the Life of a Rock Shrine at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone On July 19, 2012, XOYO Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a new show, Joy Devotion: Trash, Trinkets and Tributes at the Ian Curtis Memorial Stone.

Taken on the 18th of every month for a year between 2009-10 (including the 30th anniversary of Curtis’s death), Joy Devotion documents the evolution of death- and of memory. The trinkets, tributes and trash on the Curtis memorial stone is in constant flux, reflecting the ever migrating myth of the vocalist himself- a harsh and glaring contrast to the finality of death. Joy Devotion captures for the first time the year in the life of the rock shrine- existing almost as a destination unto itself. With each visitor, identity, ‘memory’, meaning and the legacy of Curtis and Joy Division changes and flows- similar to the seasons rotating, the movement in the landscape of the cemetery itself.

Located just over 15 miles outside of the English hub of Manchester, Macclesfield was the home of the late singer and lyricist Ian Curtis, front man for post-punk pioneers Joy Division. The ashes of Curtis are now buried minutes away from where he lived, at the Macclesfield Cemetery and Crematorium. Though it has been over 30 years since he took his life, an estimated 2,000 people annually make their way to the small, quaint Northern town, on a quest to pay homage to Curtis. Travelling from as far flung destinations as Japan, Texas and Australia, fans embark on sonic pilgrimages to walk the streets that inspired Curtis, see the house where he once inhabited- and pay their respects at Curtis’s memorial stone.

As a part of her PhD research, photographer Jennifer Otter captured images of fans, flowers and fauna every month over the course of a year. Joy Devotion marks the first time the pictures have been showcased together on display for the public.

For more information, please contact Jennyo@JKOMedia.com or go to http://joydevotion.blogspot.co.uk. XOYO Gallery is located at 32-37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AP, http://xoyo.co.uk/gallery

Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

The Marx Trot… this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

,.

Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

.

Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Stephen Turner at Goldsmiths 26.6.2012 at 5pm

New post on University For Strategic Optimism

The Indigenous Commons // 26/06 5pm // Goldsmiths

by flashbank

EVENT: The Indigenous Commons

26th June // 5pm // RHB 251 // Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr. Stephen Turner (University of Auckland)

In association with Centre for Cultural Studies and Centre for Postcolonial Studies 

No registration necessary, Drinks to follow

 

The Indigenous Commons of Aoteroa New Zealand

In the context of the worldwide Occupy movement, what does it mean to occupy an already occupied country?  It suggests a recovery, however temporary, of common space, which in Aotearoa New Zealand is inseparable from a notion of an Indigenous commons. The basis of such a commons is the long history of Maori inhabitation of the country, which encompasses the short history of non-Maori (Pakeha) occupation.  The ontological substrate of long history, encompassing multiple lands, peoples and histories, asks everybody to consider the grounds on which they stand.  At base, these are grounds of Indigenous right which cannot be extended by the nation-state, whose authority is questioned on the still-existing grounds of long history.  Based in reciprocity rather than rights, relations not entities, attributes not properties, Maori sovereignty suggests a right way and right-of-way – tikanga. Tikanga (tika means ‘right) does not imply human rights but the right way to go about the place, in terms of which the ordinary people of the place (‘Maori’ means ordinary) consider that they flourish.  The idea of an existing law that would, and did in retrospect, secure that ‘right’ is what I call ‘first law’, following Maori commentators; its latter-day expression is the possibility of a ‘full law’, which binds material and spiritual worlds in the mind-heart of Maori community. The mind-heart of place-based community, and the host-guest relation that initiates strangers, is what non-Maori (Pakeha) are asked to subscribe to as second-comers.

 

Collective well-being, now inscribed in the Indigenous-minded constitutions of Bolivia and Equador, depends more deeply on a sense of injury and lack of care than a violation of more instrumental human rights. In New Zealand the deficits of settler ignorance are threefold: a constitutional deficit, due to an acknowledged but unenforceable nineteenth-century Treaty; an historiographical deficit, where long history is read in terms of short history of a nation-state coming-to-be; and an existential deficit, where majority Pakeha act out of dread and, more recently, terror, in the face of Indigenous claims to independence. As against an economistic political economy of settler identity, where property and individual rights follow the nation-state’s self-assertion, I pose the challenge of consubstantial sovereignty, and post-capital politics. Occupy in New Zealand recalls an already occupied country, an Indigenous commons, today shared by others, but rent by parliamentary enclosure and representative segregation. Granting Maori an ontological alterity is insufficiently attentive to this commonly shared place, and to the non-state grounds of its political constitution. Nor does collective well-being oppose capital as such, but rather opposes settler-centricity and claims to co-equal indigeneity. I thereby consider the political, cultural and economic implications of attribute- rather property-based Indigenous rights.  And because the constitution of the state refuses the ontological substrate of long history, which is its whole human inhabitation, I consider the possibility of constitutionalising non-state Indigenous relations, as a means of exit from the compulsory nationalism of settler-colonialism.

Stephen Turner

University of Auckland

 

Part of the Postgraduate Conference: Taking Up Space

Taking up Space  — Cultural Studies Postgraduate Event 
25th – 26th June 2012

Centre for Cultural Studies (CCS) / MA in Cultural Studies

A one/two day conference exploring the meaning and understanding of space in its physical manifestations as well as in its discursive forms; through which identity, meaning, value and authority can be mapped in particular ways.

http://takingupspace2012.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Goldsmiths location and campus map: http://www.gold.ac.uk/find-us/

Enquiries: john.hutnyk@gold.ac.uk

flashbank | June 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p1dbfG-h7

 

Comment    See all comments

 

Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

Notice. The date has just been announced – The Marx Trot this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

,.

Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

.

Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

Notice. The date has just been announced – The Marx Trot this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.

,.

Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/marx-trot-29-5-2011/

.

Pics of the houses: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/photo/london/index.htm

The Indigenous Commons 5pm 26.6.2012

EVENT: The Indigenous Commons

26th June // 5pm // RHB 251 // Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr. Stephen Turner (University of Auckland) 

In association with Centre for Cultural Studies and Centre for Postcolonial Studies  

No registration necessary, Drinks to follow

 

The Indigenous Commons of Aoteroa New Zealand

In the context of the worldwide Occupy movement, what does it mean to occupy an already occupied country?  It suggests a recovery, however temporary, of common space, which in Aotearoa New Zealand is inseparable from a notion of an Indigenous commons. The basis of such a commons is the long history of Maori inhabitation of the country, which encompasses the short history of non-Maori (Pakeha) occupation.  The ontological substrate of long history, encompassing multiple lands, peoples and histories, asks everybody to consider the grounds on which they stand.  At base, these are grounds of Indigenous right which cannot be extended by the nation-state, whose authority is questioned on the still-existing grounds of long history.  Based in reciprocity rather than rights, relations not entities, attributes not properties, Maori sovereignty suggests a right way and right-of-way – tikanga. Tikanga (tika means ‘right) does not imply human rights but the right way to go about the place, in terms of which the ordinary people of the place (‘Maori’ means ordinary) consider that they flourish.  The idea of an existing law that would, and did in retrospect, secure that ‘right’ is what I call ‘first law’, following Maori commentators; its latter-day expression is the possibility of a ‘full law’, which binds material and spiritual worlds in the mind-heart of Maori community. The mind-heart of place-based community, and the host-guest relation that initiates strangers, is what non-Maori (Pakeha) are asked to subscribe to as second-comers.

Collective well-being, now inscribed in the Indigenous-minded constitutions of Bolivia and Equador, depends more deeply on a sense of injury and lack of care than a violation of more instrumental human rights. In New Zealand the deficits of settler ignorance are threefold: a constitutional deficit, due to an acknowledged but unenforceable nineteenth-century Treaty; an historiographical deficit, where long history is read in terms of short history of a nation-state coming-to-be; and an existential deficit, where majority Pakeha act out of dread and, more recently, terror, in the face of Indigenous claims to independence. As against an economistic political economy of settler identity, where property and individual rights follow the nation-state’s self-assertion, I pose the challenge of consubstantial sovereignty, and post-capital politics. Occupy in New Zealand recalls an already occupied country, an Indigenous commons, today shared by others, but rent by parliamentary enclosure and representative segregation. Granting Maori an ontological alterity is insufficiently attentive to this commonly shared place, and to the non-state grounds of its political constitution. Nor does collective well-being oppose capital as such, but rather opposes settler-centricity and claims to co-equal indigeneity. I thereby consider the political, cultural and economic implications of attribute- rather property-based Indigenous rights.  And because the constitution of the state refuses the ontological substrate of long history, which is its whole human inhabitation, I consider the possibility of constitutionalising non-state Indigenous relations, as a means of exit from the compulsory nationalism of settler-colonialism.

Stephen Turner

University of Auckland

Part of the Postgraduate Conference: Taking Up Space

 

Taking up Space  — Cultural Studies Postgraduate Event 
25th – 26th June 2012

Centre for Cultural Studies (CCS) / MA in Cultural Studies

 

A one/two day conference exploring the meaning and understanding of space in its physical manifestations as well as in its discursive forms; through which identity, meaning, value and authority can be mapped in particular ways.

 

http://takingupspace2012.blogspot.co.uk/

  

Goldsmiths location and campus map: http://www.gold.ac.uk/find-us/

Enquiries: surgebarberino@gmail.com

Advices for response.

I am honoured you’ve asked me to comment, but really, it is up to you to work out your own style for public engagement – polemic, polote, polite but sly, ruthless criticism of everything that exists, and any other number of performative routines.

Whatever the case, late night advice may need a spoonful of salt if you really want it to be taken seriously…

Anyway, I reckon that maybe there are several different ways to tackle this.
Probably good is to say something like:
What I found most interesting about x’s presentation is the way they have reworked concepts of xx to show that x = b.
this gives you a chance to reorder what they have done so as to talk about what you want to talk about, but while still seeming to summarize their key points.
Then say something like:
Of course some people might disagree for the following reasons – a, b and c…list them, in detail…  which basically allows you to smash their case, without seeming to have taken sides (good skill to develop I suppose, but sometimes a bit mealy-mouthed when outright hostility is more honest – ah well). Actually, no, that is mean. What you should endeavor to do is to pick apart the argument and material, then stick it back together and return it to the speaker as a reinvigorated project. Saying something like, the implications here are x, y an z – and this was alwyas implicit in x’s presentation.
Then you should leave the audience in no doubt how the something not discussed, or implications not drawn, or assumptions made are, in fact, they key issue at stake – ie, what you are interested in, not what was ostensibly the topic, and it is this which should be the focus of the subsequent discussion.
Then you should come back to the speaker and compliment them for raising such pressing issues, and hope that the discussion of these, as you have set them out, is fruitful.
Or you could just talk generally on what you found interesting. That can meander, but so long as you have a planned start and a distinct end – rather than wittering on more speckled hen warbling than decisive conclusion – and make sure you end. Don’t end with an empty phrase. Just say, …and I think I’ll stop there.
If there are no questions, you then pull out your most popular assertion and ask that as first question,
Sometimes people are too smashed to talk much and it will feel like a damp squib. But when it works, and people feel able to raise questions and join in, well then, viva criticism self-criticism.
good luck

Goldsmiths degree shows etc., 2012

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MA Cultural Studies conference is on 25-26 June,

Return to the Streets Conference 27-28 June

MA Interactive Media show is 2-8 July

.

And all these too:

21 – 25 May Undergraduate Music degree shows, Council Chamber, Deptford Town Hall
31 May – 9 June Undergraduate Popular Music shows, The Albany Theatre, Deptford
1 – 4 June Undergraduate Design degree show, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
14 June Undergraduate Media and Communications degree show (Private view), New Academic Building (NAB), New Cross
14 June Undergraduate Art degree show (Private view), Ben Pimlott Building, New Cross
15 – 18 June Undergraduate Art degree show, Ben Pimlott Building, New Cross
15 – 19 June Undergraduate Media and Communications degree show, New Academic Building (NAB), New Cross
21 June MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy, 6pm, New Cross
21 – 25 June Art Psychotherapy, foyer of the Whitehead Building and the Kingsway Corrider in the Richard Hoggart Building, New Cross
21 June Art Psychotherapy, 6 – 9pm, Ian Gulland Theatre, Whitehead Building, New Cross
22 – 23 June Art Psychotherapy, 10am – 5pm, 140 Richard Hoggart Building, New Cross
24 – 25 June Art Psychotherapy, 10am – 5pm, Ian Gulland Theatre, Whitehead Building, New Cross
27 – 30 June MA in Performance Making degree festival, New Cross
3 – 6 July MA in Writing for Performance, 3.30 – 5.30pm, Soho Theatre & Writers Centre, Soho
5 – 9 July MA Image & Communication, New Academic Building, New Cross
5 July – 9 September ‘Burnt Breakfast and Other Works’ by Su Richardson, Goldsmiths Textile Collection
5 July Postgraduate Media and Communications degree show (Private view), New Academic Building (NAB), New Cross
5 July Postrgraduate Art degree show (Private view), Ben Pimlott Building, New Cross
6 – 9 July Postgraduate Art degree show, Ben Pimlott Building, New Cross
6 – 9 July Postgraduate Media and Communications degree show, New Academic Building (NAB), New Cross
6 – 8 July MA Interactive Media, 1.7 Laurie Grove Baths, Laurie Grove, New Cross
6 September MA in Artist Teachers & Contemporary Practices (Private view), 6-8pm, Ben Pimlott Building, New Cross
7 – 8 September MA in Artist Teachers & Contemporary Practices, Ben Pimlott Building, New Cross
13 – 17 September MA in Computational Arts & MFA in Computational Arts
15 – 22 September Postrgraduate Design degree show, The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage Street, E1 5LJ

NyX Launch Issue 7

Friday, 1 June 2012
18:00
Nyx, a Noctournal invites you to come and celebrate the launch of a fantastic new literary exploration of the tantalising and horrifying world of Machines. Highlights include Bernard Stiegler, Michael Taussig, Luciana Parisi and Benjamin Noys. ‘Nyx’, the goddess of night, can also offer an evening of sensory explosions – live music, djs and visual arts installations from art collective ‘The Chess Club’. This night, drawing together the technological and the organic, whilst questioning the difference between the two, offers a chance to dance, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we may be machines.

This is your chance to get your copy of Nyx 7 at the special launch price of £5 in the abandoned cells of the Old Police Station in Deptford.

Pre-launch barbecue fun in the courtyard of the Old Police Station (walk north – down hill – from New Cross station) from 4pm. Launch and Exhibition 6pm to 11pm. Live musical performance: The Sonic Manipulator at 10pm is not to be missed!

Entry is free.
01/06/12

Image courtesy of Catharina Cronenberger Golebiowska of ‘The Chess Club’. This artistic collective are curating a series of special exhibitions for the launch:

Machines

Cell 1:
Catharina Cronenberger Golebiowska – Space Sound Painting Machine, sculpture
Cell 2:
Judith Spang – Just Whistle, interactive Light-Sound-Installation
Cell 3:
RoboCup – 3D Humanoid Soccer Simulation League
Bold Hearts is a RoboCup team from the University of Hertfordshire (UH), UK. The team was founded in 2002 by Dr. Daniel Polani and consists of computer science students at UH who have a keen interest in pushing the boundaries of AI and Robotics.
3D screen simulation

Cell 4:
Drawing Machines – artist performances

Laura Kuch – drawing machine / installation
The work consists of a lamp hanging above a bucket filled with a special black ink, which is made of several colour pigments. Water is constantly dripping from the ceiling into the bucket making the inkwater spill over the rim onto a sheet of watercolour-paper which is placed under the bucket to create a series of drawings. Installed over a longer period eventually the inkwater in the bucket becomes clear again and reveals a crystal clock which lies hidden at the bottom of the bucket.

Simon Schäfer – printing performance
The webpage “sner” generates drawings out of an experimental font and an ascii randomisation script. It automatically refreshes after a set time, creating a new combination of glyphs with each reload. For the performance, each new iteration of the page will be printed. The printed pages will be hung on the cells’ walls to completely cover them over time.

Liza Cucco – drawing sound performance
Making tick marks on a plastic cutting board, if marking away the minutes. The created beat sound supported with a mic will be heard as a kind of music of monotony.

Linda Antalova – drawing performance
Further investigation of the principles of self-organisation and attempt to realise the possibility for creating a new pattern is proposed in the digital drawings called Divergent (Three Rules and Change). The intention is to open up the space to allow a moment of change.

http://www.facebook.com/events/139610886171647/

Orientally yours

A new blog by Karen Tam updates trinketization, but with Chinese characteristics: http://orientallyyours.tumblr.com/

An example of her interests would be this scenario below by British photographer Grace Lau, but Karen’s own opium dens and faked antiquities are treasures themselves.

Website: www.karentam.ca

Other Blog: Pumpkin Sauce

Photograph booth, and photo, by Grace Lau

Education

[wrote this in January and it got set aside – I wasn’t as angry then I guess]

They have something of which they are proud. What do they call that which makes them proud? Education they call it; it distinguishes them from goatherds’ – Nietzsche.

I do not want a life as a last ditch manager of depressed casualisation, directing coal-face grunt teaching, organising free labour placements for narrow option celebrity-culture-industry hopefuls who were taught x, y and beta-tested open source contrition at the nether end of abstract short-term extortion with sub-cost-of-living remuneration. That ghost of past, present and future does not appeal at all.

And I say this with me settled into a permanent job. True, I was for many years what Emma Jackson has called a ‘peripatetic academic’,[i] moving house for work, with multiple short-term and fractional appointments in 6 different cities in 3 countries over 12 years. In the mid 1990s I did not assume having a PhD would secure me employment, and was not sure I wanted it in place of the political career at which many student activists naively aimed. But I had become adept at survival by stitching teaching appointments together like some serial offender. Plenty of the kind of low-pay grind that Marx compared to a sausage factory, where it does not matter if the worker is making sausages or teaching so long as we enrich the proprietor.[ii] I did more than my share of mass processing of essays, stand-in seminars, back-to-back tutorials and one-year replacements that meant starting to apply for new sausage-line work from the first month in any post. Time passed. I applied for 35 jobs in the year before Goldsmiths hired me, and I’m thankful for the chance and still love the College. I even had some luck with the three key indicators that, as I will discuss later in this text, shape the parameters of academia and also, now, are sites of conflict, reaction and recidivation of conditions – harming higher education and contradicting its raison d’être. Teaching, Research and Governance are my topics here, but I want to think these in a wider context, and acknowledge, as far as I can make it clear to myself, that others also tread a difficult path through the institutions.[iii]

*

 I agree with Emma that the situation for what the Research Councils call, with no intended irony, ‘early career researchers’ is precarious. Post-doctoral appointments which allow time to research are few and far between. More common is the exhausting high-contact teaching replacement post, which candidates are assured over and over, will be an important step forward, a line on a CV, crucial experience; ‘Learning and Teaching’ as cultural capital. I see up close what sessional-rate work at three separate institutions in the same term does to a neglected PhD project. I am continually amazed at the capacity of such ECR’s to endure. I also see these researchers, and a great many other students, and some colleagues, engaged in debates over conditions in ways that have not been prominent for 20 years: discussions of ‘Really Free Schools’, of teaching ‘free at the point of delivery’, of reconfiguring academia to allow access for all, of occupations which include public lectures, of interventions in teaching formats that involve relocating into public spaces; and more acutely of refusing the imperative to teach as part of the war machine, the immigration restriction, the culture industry, the administered society, the police state. What I see is that something impressive is emerging to confront the Conservatives with another plan for education, another potential, a re-imagination.

There is a cautious optimism that defies circumstances here, and an awareness of the need to deflect any rhetorical compact with austerity too. The ‘Free Schools’ are not simply a progressive twist on the Big Society, nor a realpolitik compromise with career path that prepares ‘apprentices’ for later gainful employ, calibrated with economic requirements and self-serving need. There is enthusiasm in occupations where ‘teach-in’s include ‘teaching-out’ by touring local schools, pickets, other occupations and activist sites and there is a welcome challenge to the hierarchical formats of academic conferences, publishing and writing in the renewed demand of students to have a say in their (paid for) degrees. Yes, there is a sense in which all this still adds to cultural capital for the self-styled ‘activists-academics’ and there is an aspirant careerism in the very idea of going to university or even wanting to run an ‘alternative university’ – perhaps in a tent. There is always some ego investment here. But the conditions do need to be challenged, and apprentice or no, the path towards institutionalisation is a kind of benighted gift. Some of its conditions include:

–       Few scholarships, hard to get

–       trainee academic, on piece rates

–       marking, sessional pay, no preparation fee

–       low union representation, part-timer issues overlooked

–       no holiday pay, no sickness leave,

–       learning and teaching certificates (a paid-for license to perform)

–       PhD, postdoc, initial teaching year, junior faculty, hierarchy

–       probation and discipline, hierarchy entrenched

–       demand to publish early (and often)

–       research Assessment-driven conformism

–       diminution of approved places to publish

–       limit on research funds, travel budget, conference budget

–       less responsibility, less access to committees, promotion

–       no access to the mysteries of management’s grey world

–       cuts, anticipated cuts and more cuts anyway.

This precarity is not lost on me. But I am concerned that this turns into active denial when that elusive ‘secure’ job finally becomes a reality, and the institutionalised scholar finds an ongoing precariousness which enforces complicity with the reaction. This seems most evident when well-meaning established scholars must constantly innovate new projects, albeit under duress. Quite unlike the ‘Free School University’ and Tent-based teach-in’s of #occupy, a massive growth in new programmes, often Masters degrees geared to overseas students from China and East Asia, has been underway for several years. This inevitably now extends to all levels of teaching. Budgeting for fiscal constraint saw a relentless commercial drive to refit education as export earner in overseas markets, with product delivery to short-term visa, high tariff students here, client-seeking degree-fair 5-star accreditation junkets there. No doubt some of these programmes are excellent and of course benefit the students that come, but there are significant problems. On the one hand we can often hear a shallow and largely unsubstantiated lament for the loss of education standards that these international programmes might effect (as if it’s somehow the international students’ fault, or that they have not themselves excellent reasons to come[iv]). On the other hand, the rarely examined and not even guilt-ridden alacrity among those few academics prepared to defend higher education from neo-liberal austerity assaults, to willingly, and more or less efficiently, set up yet more courses for overseas students and hastily renovate undergraduate home offers so as to appeal to market demand and the full-fee terrain. Certainly opening education to wider participation, locally and globally, remains a goal, but these programmes are often referred to as ‘cash cows’ and this opportunist criteria overrides any suggestion that incoming students might have a say in how things are run and why. As it happens the new ‘full-fees’ have not yet hit MA and PhD programmes for home students, but we are several years into charging extortionate level fees for overseas candidates, with detrimental results in terms of debt load and ongoing stress. In these circumstances we must always ask what it is that these programmes do? The aim of course is to preserve the income stream in the face of austerity. Here to enrich the proprietor is the only criteria, though just renovating the buildings seems more than enough for which many hope. On the other hand, these courses have an often under-examined relation to class recomposition, both locally and globally. Globally, where different constituencies see education as a ticket to reconfigure options and constraints via migration and accreditation (as cultural capital), locally as a creeping credentialism and cretinization where a demand for an ever more qualified employee pool is matched with an ever more routinized and uncritical employment sector. Plenty demand for jobs that aren’t there, jobs a-plenty for those who are not too demanding – the stick and carrot of neoliberalism that the Precarious and Carrot Workers Collective so rightly skewers.[v]

Over a period of thirty or forty years, the university student has been reduced in circumstances and privilege so as to now be quite a bit closer to the proletarianised worker, themselves increasingly digitised as precarious labour, data input, call centre workers or shopping-till operators. This foreshortened trajectory of worker-student concurrence occurs while at the upper echelons an administrative demarcation ensures the non-convergence of previously highly-privileged professionals with the non-productive wealthy and rich in business. Indeed, the Professors look set to become little more than petty-bourgeois shopkeepers, and their departments more like merchandise stores, while University management heads, and no doubt in other service sectors the upper managements as well, become robber barons paid six figure sums with benefits. We are not talking social class here, since cultural aspirations in each fraction are shared, but we are talking class formation nonetheless. And a vast gulf in circumstances and understanding or attitude to the coming changes opens up. While it is true the services that universities provide are so much more than this too-easy polarisation into proprietors and sales clerks, it repays consideration to look to the injunctions under which we work. The social battle to retain privilege and hierarchy on the part of the petit-bourgeois professor is belied by actual diminution in economic resource, conditions of work and disarticulation from power and authority. Good riddance to all that. But to add value to another’s labour capacity is one thing, to provide fodder for commerce and profit for the bosses of all the other sectors is quite another.

Theodor Adorno wanted university education to be a constant vigilance that insured against any resurgence of authoritarian thinking in Europe after World War II. He meant a teaching that worked against genocide and related this not just to Auschwitz, but also to the atomic bomb. Research would be undertaken into the authoritarian subject and the ‘tendencies towards disintegration’ that lurk beneath the surface of an ordered and ‘civilized’ life.[vi] Elsewhere, he said to speak of education is also to speak of administration and warned of research that models it’s training on administrative categories,[vii] even though in the difference between reified institutions and the complicity of ‘critique’ there remained a chance to realize something different – a hope.[viii] Ten years after September 11, this seems all the more an implausible lament now: in the context of current cuts, commercialisation of research, privatisation of university services, marketisation of teaching delivery, alignment of pastoral care with UKBA border surveillance and decay of infrastructure, the opportunist retooling of programme content towards vocation runs alongside a reconfiguration of education as a resource utility rather than a promise. Critical thinking has become merely a course option, not an alternative. It is even productively a part of the kind of education encouraged by perceived ‘national’ needs, now focused on the gamble of vocational programmes and contract research for corporate ends. In this context a reified ‘criticality’ offers a limited acclimatisation training that prepares students to wait in line for ever-fewer jobs. This is not education but rather a dormitory holding system, unable able to fend off the cuts and constraints that keep us ducking and diving for survival.

*

 So let me come to the meat of this rant and try to set out the parameters of this reaction under the three headings that are usually used to evaluate academic appointments and promotion: Teaching, Research and Governance. This survey is of course not exhaustive.

Everybody knows teaching is under threat in the UK, with departmental closures, uncertainty and constant counter-productive time-wasting, rarely instructive ‘quality’ reviews, overworked lecturing staff, underpaid adjunct staff, commercial drive to commodify teaching infrastructure (Google deals to outsource course-packs, library collections digitised). A scramble to place bums on seats and still take teaching seriously sees a tireless quest by a few quixotic souls to face down a phalanx of dedicated entrepreneurial zealots who would sell their own mothers for recognition by the Senior Management prefecture. The proliferation of short courses and team teaching by necessity hastens the routine of instruction, and concedes a ‘sanctioned ignorance’[ix] that no longer rewards the time taken to learn and write. The merits of team-teaching are not the problem, it is rather the imperative to team-teach that ensures that a kind of mass-market stupidity prevails.[x] Survey courses and one-session-one-thinker introductions are the easiest options for mass-market education with diminished resource – longer, slower rhythms of learning are unsuited to a market-profit model. In the face of resource clawback, alongside managerialist ‘quality’ control hardly worth the name, the formularisation of teaching (aims, outcomes, course templates) means we become ever more learnedly dumb ever more quickly (two year degrees from McDonalds for example, BBC 25 November 2010[xi]).

Research is now driven by a commercial imperative and the prospects of innovation are barely disguised as impact. Research is ruled by evaluation and quantity of publication in ‘quality’ first-rate journals. These are largely owned and managed by private publishing houses taking large profits for work done without fee by college scholars. Manuscript review, proposal evaluation, cover citations and procurement all done without remuneration is free labour; a tax-payer funded subsidy for commercial press (there are still some progressive publishers, but a way forward via small-scale and independent seems only a bulwark that will soon be acquired by the larger houses). Alongside this, not unrelated, the Research Councils continually flip their funding calls into the language of Security and Intervention: community cohesion as a code for profiling; care for the future and heritage as gentrification; value performance as a deployment to work on the geo-political outcomes of crisis, credit and debt; translating cultures and global responsibility as cipher for neo-colonial interference and intrigue (see the RCUK ‘delivery plan’ 2011[xii]). There is some opposition, for example from anthropologists concerned that a £2million Engineering and Physical Science Research Council-led programme for research on ‘counter terrorism in public spaces’ by studying ‘radicalisation’ in faith groups amounted to a compromise with civil liberties,[xiii] or from Arts and Humanities researchers when the Conservative Government’s ‘Big Society’ was touted as a priority.[xiv] But the RCUK strategy still looks shaky and its language perpetrates a systemic social delusion along the same lines as the false coin of quantitative easing so quickly adopted to manipulate both money markets and cultural-national propaganda during the ‘crisis’.

Governance. The quality assurance and blue-skies, white paper, options taskforce world of weirdness mints obscure new terminologies. Renaming collegial forums and replacing accountability and transparency with an opaque ‘Corporate Governance and Information Management’ miasma as cover for the ongoing putsch to refashion all university decision-making into a proliferating middle management. At the same time, the individualising-isolation of those who might critique this – ‘it’s all bad, but if I keep my head down and get on with my research I’ll be ok’ – is both a futile aggrandisement of self, and a failure of co-operative responsibility. There is a contradiction here which sees a radical ‘new times’ sensation seeking managerialism prospect about for a guarantee of future placement at the table reserved for the select ‘old-school’ few. An arid landscape throws up super-power mandarins, but with no support base, or at best an exhausted one. We are doomed if the few small examples of collective action (mostly led by students) are not generalised. The defence of pensions or critique of fees is a tip-of-the-iceberg strategy that cedes too much to Trades Union consciousness and head office directive. No-one in the demonstrations of 2010 said it was only about the tariff-hike; it was also about betrayal, by Clegg, by Labour, limited opportunities, perceived and real decline, privatisation, vocationalisation. A mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of workers is impressive, and there are signs that more is to come as the financial forecasters back-track and prevaricate in confusion (a promised ten years of austerity, with super profits!), but a one-day strike and a walk from A-to-B does not yet a revolution make.

The fancy that there can still be something like an education that would be separate from a system of objects, a vast network of gadgets, devices, protocols, items and orders of communication is a dream. Product placement is not the be all and end all of instrumentalism, but its sway extends deep into the heart of the school. Bringing all this together in the new media, high profile, digital humanities, rapid response, surveillance and security agenda should come as no surprise at a time of commodity glut and innovation slump. A stagflation of ideas, an immobilisation of creativity. By which I mean that the rhetoric of innovation is high, but the outcomes and – yes – impact of thinking is constrained such that the coming together of people through the facilitation of gadgets remains only a latent co-operation. This is a general intellect in abstraction, and education is displaced by untapped potential because caught in a trap, students are led into a servitude of gifting thought for rent or mortgage, ready and willing to work, but for inconsequential gain.

Underlying all this, as Marx pointed out in Capital, there is the expectation by Capital that it has the right to tap a resource of already trained-up labour power without charge to itself. Indeed, user pays, except where the key words of university – teaching, research, administration – condition inmates of the sheltered workshop to the imbrication of knowledge with a more or less stratified corporate need. Infrastructure costs, preparatory materials, regulatory oversight, and reproduction of the workforce have never been more readily conscripted so cheaply for the employers. We even arrange unpaid internships so as to proffer up our graduates for free to the market. Voluntarily gifted labour where there once was a wage, and of course that wage did not adequately calculate the necessary costs of reproducing labour: the home, domestic support, snotty noses wiped, basic skills learned, language, community, general health, compliance, national allegiance.

Is this resource that we call education a social good? If it reproduces the class relation, returns no gain to those it cracks on the wheel of capital, if it subjects all to a cretinisation and a lowest-common denominator extortion, then there is little reason to still call this education. Rather, it is not hard to see, it is training, and control. The reduction of education to training, skills, vocation and business – the sausage/teaching factory – is readily denounced. But if the institution remains a place for a rampant intelligence[xv] as a place where a critical consciousness still chances to contradict the system, there could be a reason to side with Marx, Adorno et al., and imagine another education. One that tries to transmute value extraction into some collective and collaborative sharing of knowledge, with a utopian ideal of the future fulsome development of each and all, even if we are not there yet, if at all. In this there might be something worth fighting for, as the University.

Critique, rebellion, a rampant intelligence, mass participation, everyone must write, poetry, aesthetics – the refuge of romantic ideals can be extended, even while on the run. The family resemblance between education and training does not make the latter illegitimate, only a danger if it holds sway and cedes ground to elitism, and the alpha-class specialists that receive a ‘good’ teaching, as opposed to the beta-through-delta models that prevail for the rest. Rote-learning, historical amnesia, political myopia and a State-sponsored apathy are simply not suited to the circumstances that led us to teaching. The calls to reassert teaching as critical thinking are an indication that a merely corporate-feeder education will no longer be tolerated. Who will hear these calls? There is a groundswell resurgence and disaffection, yet with no significant recognition from the senior staffers or the management. Not one administrator seems ready to acknowledge the coming change. The self-protection of unexamined complicity cannot secure the monastic scholar forever, there must and needs be a time when the isolated walks out into the open to join with others: I nominate that we all become peripatetic, even, and especially (while) in secure jobs.

How do we convince our comrades to look up from their desks and step out and turn up, marching towards a new university compact, with optimism? My college, Goldsmiths, with half a glint in its opportunist eye, and half a lack of nerve, rebrands itself as ‘radical’ (there are badges) and critical; despite an advertising campaign that traduces ideas into cheap slogans there is little sense that management ‘gets’ that they are out of step. There is a massive allegiance on the part of teaching staff to the college, even while a relentless attack on conditions and process erodes possibilities. Escalating corporatisation sees decision making side-tracked into specialist finance-led commissions; Academic Board is reduced to a toothless talking shop; the Senior Management Team an ensemble unable to respond to fast-changing circumstances, and a process barely fit-for-purpose. Yet at a time when there seems to be ever more cogent student and ECR recognition of the weighty cultural capital that exists at Goldsmiths, and indeed across the sector, the possibility of building a platform for revolutionary transformation is beleaguered. The support of the students for UCU strike actions has been impressive, but it sometimes appears to be the ambition of management to undermine and contain any enthusiasm for something outside of the market – the antiphrasic suggestion that student occupiers be offered a designated space for ‘occupations’ is only the most absurd of the developments.

On campuses across the world, the proliferation of activist groups, small zines, alternative publications, blogs, discussion groups, collaborations on research, cross-departmental alliances, drinking games and general conviviality suggests that the fight is not lost to the mandarins just yet. Over the last year the University for Strategic Optimism, to name just one local example, has run a series of samizdat lectures in banks, supermarkets, inside the police kettle and outside the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (responsible for ‘universities’, go figure). The UfSO[xvi] is another form of precarious peripatetic academy, and it is not without its problems, and its tactics are hotly contested within the collective. The classroom of course is also not something to be abandoned to the vocational-privatised alpha-beta and drone streaming system. In the occupation at Goldsmiths in November/December teaching continued in the occupied space, adjacent to the finance offices, with the quite reasonable proviso that any lecture be open to the public and a brief statement to this effect be made at the start of each hour. Sadly, some colleagues could not abide by this small condition – as if they were not already operating under many others. Still, many classes went ahead as scheduled, and only the finance office was forced to relocate, with some scabbing management figures getting overly excited and trying to barge their way through picket lines on the strike day.

Sure, the movement to re-imagine education remains embryonic, slandered as obstreperous by some, hysterical by others. The slow work of building a radical critical alternative is of course hindered and delayed by those with much to lose. But no-one doubts that a battle for space and ideas is underway, nor that an alternative to business-as-usual is at least on the table for discussion. This text itself was written in close contact with the #occupy movements’ Bank of Ideas in central London and the Goldsmiths occupiers. Asking there, alongside enthusiastic ECR readers of Capital, how long it takes to sweep aside the blockages to a new kind of university seems like a live question. I continue to seek signs of life and find them in class, never in committee. Walk around and take a look at the peripatetic academy as it generalises struggles globally: there is something to learn here if you look up from the paperwork.

– John Hutnyk (1/2012)


[i] Emma Jackson announced her departure from London to take up an appointment to a post in Glasgow in a recent article in the Huffington post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/emma-jackson/peripatetic-teachers-rise-of_b_1174064.html – accessed 31.12.2011

[ii]  ‘A schoolmaster is a productive labourer, when, in addition to belabouring the heads of his scholars, he works like a horse to enrich the school proprietor. That the latter has laid out his capital in a teaching factory, instead of a sausage factory, does not alter the relation’ – Marx, Capital Vol 1,Ch 16

[iii] for example, in Australia: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2011/October/06101104.asp – accessed 3.1.2012

[iv] see Liz Thompson and Ben Rosenzweig, 2012 ‘Guest Consumer, Multicultural Patriotism and International Economy in Australia’ in John Hutnyk (ed) Beyond Borders, London: Pavement Books (forthcoming).

[vi] Theodor Adorno, 1969/1998 Critical Models, Interventions and Catchwords, New York: Columbia University Press. P.192-3.

[vii] Theodor Adorno 1991 The Culture Industry Reconsidered: Selected Essays on Mass Culture. London: Routledge. p105.

[viii] Ibid. p113.

[ix] Gayatri Chakravory Spivak, 1999 Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

[x] Avital Ronell, 2002 Stupidity. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

[xiii] http://wp.me/pcKI3-6c – last accessed 2.1.2012

[xv] Peter Sloterdijk, 1988 Critique of Cynical Reason. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

New Cross Review of Books

About NXRB

Book Reviews from the Big Crabapple that is NX, London.

This is a haphazard collection of reviews old and new. Of course we are not competing with any of the other fine book review rags out there from other towns like New York or London, it’s just that…

We will accept contributions where they are by our friends and comrades, where they are really good and so long as they are approved by the unbiased (non parliamentary, ultra-leftist, no touching faith in reformism or the State) editors. We reserve the right to reject (and hunt down, huff and puff, and burn your house etc.) any sexist, racist or pro-capitalist comments or contributions. You know the drill.

We are for reading, for reading in context, for making reading a part of the struggle to transform lives and life – looking for ways to transmute the nasty slime of Capital into something else, something better, whatever it takes. If it takes book reviews too, then here we go. Culture Industry Reconsidered! Film reviews too people – high-brow elitist theory-heavy auto-reflexive hyper-critique inclusive.

Email the editor-ish (you will see, editorial here is a self-organising collective process) John.Hutnyk [at] gold.ac.uk

La Haine and Injustice double bill 6pm Goldsmiths 13.2.2012

La Haine and Injustice double bill

6pm-10pm Goldsmiths RHB 137a

all welcome

La Haine: dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, France, 1995, 97 mins

Injustice: dir Ken Fero & Tarig Mehmood 2001, 98 mins

these two screenings on police and deaths in custody in conjunction with the Centre for Cultural Studies, Capital course, Text and Image course and the No Borders Convergence. All welcome.

Three events for CCS – Write Now – Deleuze – No Borders.

Three near overlapping events in thee next 10 days for Centre for Cultural Studies people at Goldsmiths:

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Write Now! BER-CPH-LON PhD Symposium (Feb 9-11 2012)

You have to, you want to, you need to Write Now!

But how do you publish? 

In an atmosphere of loneliness, alienation, rejection, competition, anxiety, hierarchy, nepotism and jealousy, how does the “early career scholar” (re)negotiate the imperative to produce? Given the increases demands of the academic publishing industry, how can we avoid labouring under illusions, false promises and unrealistic expectations?  

And yet the pleasures of the text, new platforms and opportunities for publishing and sharing, are there before us. 

Open to Goldsmiths PhD candidates of all departments. 

Practical aspects of working towards a book publication will be a core part of the symposium.

Bring your ideas, texts, criticism. 

no charge (supported by the Goldsmiths Annual Fund).

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Deleuze, Philosophy, Transdisciplinarity 


Goldsmiths, 10th-12th February
http://deleuzetransdiscipline.wordpress.com/
Plenary Speakers: Jean-Claude Dumoncel, Eric Alliez, John Mullarkey, Laura Cull, Anne Sauvagnargues

Invited Speakers: Giuseppe Bianco, Andrew Goffey, Marjorie Gracieuse, Tatsuya Higaki, Christian Kerslake, Iain MacKenzie, Stamatia Portanova, Nathan Widder

Organised by the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths University of London (Masa Kosugi) and the Faculty of Humanities and School of European culture and Languages, the University of Kent (Guillaume Collett)

We are now entering a new phase of Deleuze studies which seeks to understand the specificity of Deleuze’s mode of philosophising. This is necessary, firstly in order to establish an account of his work’s developments and ruptures which is neither reductive nor partisan and secondly, to be able to better situate Deleuze within the context of contemporary thought. While the concept of immanence has recently been seized upon as the way of measuring Deleuze’s philosophical development (Kerslake, 2009; Beistegui, 2010), this conference would like to shift the focus to another yet closely interrelated problematic, which is the concept of philosophy and its essential relation to transdisciplinarity.
What precisely does Deleuze understand by the term ‘philosophy’? In The Logic of Sense, Deleuze states that ‘Philosophy merges with ontology, but ontology merges with the univocity of Being’ (p. 205, Continuum, 2004). Does philosophy have privileged access to a univocal Being that is itself non-philosophical, and which subsumes not only philosophy but also philosophy’s preconditions – what The Logic of Sense refers to as the ‘sciences’ of logic, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis, as well as art? Does Deleuze and Guattari’s re-formulation of this problematic in What is Philosophy? contradict the earlier Deleuze when it appears to posit a more extrinsic relation – or interference – between philosophy, science, and art, all three of which open up to Chaos, which they claim is equally distinct from the preconditions of philosophy, science and art (nonphilosophy, nonscience, nonart)? Are we to understand Deleuze’s concept of philosophy as essentially and inherently transdisciplinary, and if so, how? What is at stake here is the possibility of establishing a ‘common ethico-aesthetic discipline’ (Guattari, Continuum, 2000) and the role of philosophy in such a project.

We aim to have a wide range of papers converging on the concept of philosophy found in Deleuze’s work and dialoguing with the problems we have alluded to. Suggested paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Deleuze and the history of philosophy: his methodology, his conception of the history of philosophy, his readings of specific philosophers and thinkers
– The place of science and logic in Deleuze’s philosophy
– The place of art in Deleuze’s philosophy
– Deleuze and non-philosophy, and the role of the pre/post-philosophical in his philosophy
– Shifts in Deleuze’s readings of particular philosophers, and more generally in Deleuze’s own concept of philosophy, throughout his career
– The critical assessment of Guattari’s influence on Deleuze’s philosophy

Registration is free but please contact us (masakosugi@gmail.com, guillaume.collett@hotmail.co.uk) early if you would like to attend the conference.
**The event is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the School of European Culture and Languages and Faculty of Humanities, the University of Kent, the Centre for Cultural Studies Goldsmiths, and the Graduate School, Goldsmiths, University of London **

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and the No Borders Convergence – click on the poster or seek out: http://london.noborders.org.uk/convergence2012/poster

Born Free – MIA’s Poetry After Guantanamo

A piece written before this week’s release of Bad Girls, coming out soon in Social Identities.

Abstract: The recent work of the Sri-Lankan-British musician and sonic ‘curator’ known as M.I.A. (real name: Mathangi Arulpragasam) is considered as a commentary on atrocity and read alongside the well known essay ‘The Storyteller’ by Walter Benjamin and comments on Auschwitz by Theodor Adorno. The storytelling here is updated for a contemporary context where global war impacts us all, more or less visibly, more, or less, acknowledged. It is argued that the controversy over M.I.A.’s Romain Gavras video Born Free is exemplary of the predicament of art in the face of violence, crisis and terror – with this track, and video, M.I.A.’s work faced a storm of criticism which I want to critique in turn, in an attempt, at least, to learn to make or discern more analytic distinctions amongst concurrent determinations of art A careful reading of Adorno can in the end teach us to see Born Free anew.

 

Keywords: Benjamin, Adorno, Gavras, M.I.A, music, terror, racism, orientalism.

PDF Here Poetry After GuantanamoFinalDraftSocialIdentities.

Marxism 7.0

A quick response to a question (asked for a radio item):  ‘Does the Internet open up new ways of introducing Marxist ideas and concepts in the real world? – Marxism 2.0’
I have not seen anything great on this theme (meme). I am not convinced by Negri and Hardt and the hype about 2.0. But there was the book ‘CyberMarxism’ by Dyer-Witherford a few years back – largely autonomia influenced. And for sure the Marx-Engels Internet Archive has been phenomenally influential, but not all the MEGA is online yet.
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I’m not convinced reading online opens up new ways of reading Marx as such. Well, several new ways of reading anything of course are there – as its on screen not a book, and searchable. But Marxism isn’t something that is just reading. And Marxism 2.0 sounds dangerously like an excuse for a simplifying article (which I am sure you will not do – a critique is needed).
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Anyway, wasn’t Engels Marxism 2.0. Then Lenin, then Mao, then… We are surely up to 7.0 at least!
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You must already know this would be my response – since in my lectures on Capital volume 1 at Goldsmiths, they are open to the public precisely because I am keen not to be too fast and loose with scholarship as to reduce the world of Marxism, or the politics of fighting for revolutionary change, to David Harvey’s online lectures, or some other version of googleMarx™. I feel that we need time to read, Marx and others – including Harvey, but also Marx’s sources, Hegel, Smith, Ricardo, Shakespeare, Leonard Horner – and not to do so would be to ignore the convoluted processes of learning to read Marx and the world in dialectical terms, necessary for making sense and making change – the point, etc…

Train Research Group

This Wednesday 1st Feb, 4pm G3 Laurie Grove Baths is the second Goldsmiths meeting of the Train & TubE Research Section (ahem, I am not really suggesting we call the group ‘tatters’! Its just that the abbreviation TRG also does not scan).
all welcome.
The following few things sent in may also be of interest:
The Olympics Premium (aka buying off the workers with Uncle Tory’s fast cash bribes):
Russian art group Voina have done the ‘lunch on the metro’ stunt too (you need to scroll down to the third image):
Also, in Belgium they are making the point somewhat more directly.  This is the latest and most dramatic action on the Brussles Metro following an unpopular fare rise:

And a few things circulated from the UFSO:

 – here’s some inspiration – AD Block Sweden:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_w4tFMbUSo

Here is a link to a documentary about the struggle of tube cleaners from a few years back,
if you haven’t seen it: http://v2v.cc/v2v/Underground_Londoners
or: http://www.mediafire.com/?ixmtvvela3ia56e

And here is a great Hungarian Metro thriller ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kontroll

Perspective Society : Marx, Ford, Jobs.

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An outline for a block course as part of “Theories of Modern Society” at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen in Feb-March 2012:
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Perspective Society : Marx, Ford, Jobs.
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This 3-part discussion takes Theories of Modern Society as a research problem in the tradition of workplace Inquiries. In part one, by examining the Blue Books and Factory Inspector reports that Marx used for the Working Day chapter of Capital Volume one, we will look at the Industrial Revolution in the mid 18th Century. In part two we will consider Fordist Production systems and the global advent of assembly work, then in part three the co-research tradition of Autonomist Marxism and Kolinko permits us to look at processed work and the alienations and precarity of net-life.  Each of the sections coheres around ideas of workplace or social inquiry and co-research. Each section will also include some topical film analysis and discussion (eg: Germinal and Hard Times for mid 1800s, Tucker and Modern Times for 1920s, and Clerks and The Social Network for processed work for late 20th early 21st Century). Assessment will be your own inquiry into your own conditions of work, broadly defined.
Feb 24-25 Read ‘The Working Day’ chapter of Marx’s Das Kapital (chapter 8) or in English as Capital (chapter 10). This is about 90 pages. (you may of course read the earlier chapters if yu wish, but these are not compulsory, though they will be referred to in class, alongside illustrative films for discussion).
March 23-24 Read Part 4 of Marx’s Capital (chapters 10-13 in the German or 12-15 in the English). Again there will be films, discussion and additional reading in class.
April 20-21 Read ‘Hotlines’. Available online in English and German: http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/kolinko/lebuk/e_lebuk.htm
The class will be in English, but reading can be German or English. Additional resources on the blog https://hutnyk.wordpress.com
All welcome.
Professor John Hutnyk
Goldsmiths College,University of London

Leonard Horner Hall

Since one of the first (positive) mentions of a really existing individual in Marx’s Capital is Leonard Horner, we should find out a little about this fellow who will not be forgotten…: ‘Leonard Horner was one of the Factory Inquiry Commissioners in 1833, and Inspector, or rather Censor of Factories till 1859. He rendered undying service to the English working class. He carried on a life-long contest, not only with the embittered manufacturers, but also with the Cabinet’ (Marx)

Patrick Corbett (Heriot-Watt University) recently took part in the Society’s Chartership programme as a scrutineer. Interestingly, the Society had chosen to host the meeting in the Leonard Horner Hall at Heriot-Watt University ….

Geoscientist 20.4 April 2010

Leonard Horner entered Edinburgh in 1799 at the age of 14 and learned, among other subjects, mineralogy – which stimulated a lifetime interest in geology. After leaving university he spent a quarter of a century as a linen merchant, travelling extensively and keeping up his intellectual interests. During this time became a fellow of the Geological Society (in the second year of its existence, 1808), was Secretary (1810-14) and twice President (1845-46, 1860-61). His first paper to the society was “On the mineralogy of the Malvern Hills”. In 1835 he helped initiate the Geological Survey of Great Britain. In his obituary W.J Hamilton, then President, recorded that Horner possessed a “cautious manner in which he avoids a too hasty generalisation” and concluded that he had laid the foundation of the principles that Murchison and Sedgwick subsequently applied to understanding the Palaeozoic rocks. Charles Lyell was obviously influenced by Horner, as the former married the latter’s daughter, Mary. He did much to promote a wider public interest in geology. After he retired as “the Inspector General of Factories” at age 74 in 1859, in the five years before his death, he spent time rearranging and cataloguing the Society’s museum collection.

In 1821, Horner founded the Edinburgh School of Arts (the first ever Mechanics’ Institute – for training skilled artisans) to promote high academic standards for the élite while extending useful knowledge to the labouring classes. Its prospectus stated the objectives “for the purpose of enabling industrious Tradesman to become acquainted with such principles of mechanics, chemistry and other branches of science as are of practical application in several trades”. Classes were held in the evening and included mineralogy for tradesmen working in the textiles industry for use in dye-making.

Karl Marx admired the work of Horner as a reforming factory inspector and eulogised that “his services to the English working classes will never be forgotten. He carried on a life-long contest, not only with the embittered manufacturers, but also with the cabinet”. In 1827, Horner was also invited to be the warden of the new University of London. He was effectively both Vice-chancellor (Principal) and Secretary of the new University. From this position of patronage, he was able to invite Charles Lyell to the chair of mineralogy at King’s College London in 1828.

The Edinburgh College of Arts was the progenitor institution from which Heriot-Watt University was created in 1966. Today the University retains the ethos of teaching practical subjects in a way that people in industry can participate, through international distance learning programmes – very much in the style of Leonard Horner – one of the founding fathers. I suspect Leonard Horner would have approved of the idea of professionalism (which is now embedded in Chartership and rather more evidence-based than in his day!) and the need for Continuing Professional Development .

Further reading

O’Farrell, P.N., 2004 Heriot-Watt University, An Illustrated History, Pearson Education, 511pp. Watch out for Patrick’s next book, a biography of Leonard Horner, the research for which has involved him in many happy hours in the Burlington House Library.

http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/pid/7349;jsessionid=3990B0009259ABF0F9F646D2EB19AC74
If the past is the key to your present interests, why not join the History of Geology Group (HOGG)? For more information and to read the latest HOGG newsletter, visit the HOGG website at: www.geolsoc.org.uk/hogg.]

Horeners letters – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Leonard-Horner-F-R-S-Paperback/dp/1108072844/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1327674881&sr=8-2

Re-read Spivak’s Ghostwriting for this week’s lecture on Capital.

Spivak uses the occasion of Derrida saying ‘hello to Marx’ (Spivak 1995:78) to make some key points about women in the contemporary condition of financialised capitalism, and offer a reading of Assia Djebar’s Far From Medina and the ghosts of many women that must be retrieved from this text on Islam. I am not able to engage with Fatima, like Spivak I am no Islamic scholar, and anyway you must read both Spivak and Djebar. I also consider Spivak more interesting on fianacialisation and women than anyone else writing on this. It is curious that few Marxists take this up, as class conscious ‘future socialists’ we cannot ignore the need to work through such questions, as we shall. Spivak insists:

‘According, then, to the strictest Marxian sense, the reproductive body of woman has now been “socialized” – computed into average abstract labor and thus released into what I call the spectrality of reason – a specter that haunts the merely empirical, dislocating it from itself. According to Marx, this is the specter that must haunt the daily life of the class-conscious worker, the future socialist, so that she can dislocate him herself into the counterintuitive average part-subject (agent) of labor, recognize that, in the everyday, es spukt. It is only then that the fetish character of labor-power as commodity can be grasped and can become the pivot that wrenches capitalism into socialism’ (Spivak 1995:67-8)

In Capital, the tale of Robinson is used to show that the operations of use-value are not somehow prior or isolated from exchange as relations of production. Even alone, Robinson calculates. It is not an innate nature, but a social condition (that can be changed).

‘The first example is Robinson Crusoe, to demonstrate that the relations of production can be known even in a situation of “pure” use-value’ (Spivak 1995:76)

Immediately before this, in search of Ghosts, Derrida finds that the translation occludes the literal ghost in referring to the ‘magic and necromancy that surrounds the products of labour so long as they take the form of commodities’ (Marx 1867/1970:76 L&W Pen-169, Derrida 1993/1994:164). Necromancy substitutes for spuk and Derrida wants to stress the apparition, that the ghost is something like Marx’s familiar, that he wants to exorcise and retain.

But Spivak notes that Derrida ‘goofs a bit’ here:

‘the passage quoted on page 164 [by Derrida] does not directly refer to the socialist future, as Derrida seems to think. Marx’s point is that simply to see the relations of production clearly is no big deal’ (Spivak 1995:76)

The discussion of Robinson on his Island, keeping books, being a proper Englishman, is Marx having his fun. The next moment we are to ‘transport ourselves from Robinson’s island, bathed in light to the European middle ages shrouded in Darkness’ where the hierarchy of serf and lord, compulsory labour, services, payments in kind, entails a society where the social relations are personal, and ‘not disguised under the social relations between the products of labour’ (Marx 1867/1970:77L&W). We need not go back to examine the different forms of common property, though Marx shows he has the scholarship to do this, but we can see the distribution of the work and consumption of produce in the peasant family is not one organized by commodities, but subject to arrangements of age, sex, the seasons, a spontaneously developed division of labour, etc.

Then, suggesting something different, but not yet the only possible difference, Marx asks us to ‘picture to ourselves, for a change, a community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common’ (Marx, 1867/1970:78 L&W), social labour-power and social product, planned distribution, surplus consumed according to – in this, again not the only possible assumption – and distributed according to input of labour-time.

 ‘The social relations of the individual producers, with regard to both their labour and their products, are in this case perfectly simple and intelligible, and with regard not only to production but also to distribution’ (Marx 1867/1970:79 L&W)

There may be different forms in which this distribution is organized, according to the level of development of the productive forces, and a future communism would not assume distribution according to labour time but rather to each according to need, yet this scenario where production has stripped off its ‘mystical veil’ [this veil stuff is from Schiller’s The Bell, as Prawler shows, 1976:322) and is ‘consciously regulated’ in ‘accordance with a settled plan’ comes only at the expense of ‘a long and painful process’ (Marx 1867/1970:80 L&W). Marx’s point in the next pages is to show that the commodity as bourgeois form has everything reversed – like Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing who things ‘reading and writing come by nature’ (Marx 1867/1970:83 L&W Pen.177, D.98).

Spivak, 1995 Ghostwriting, Diacritics, Vol. 25, No. 2. (Summer), pp. 64-84

The piece-rate Worker

Turning our lives into sausage factory grunt work and mere value extraction. This is all too common. Before electronic rights became a standard in publishing contracts I used to scratch out that part (eg for my Calcutta book, and for ‘Dis-Orienting Rhythms’ – only the latter is online for free – see sidebar to download – since scanning the typeset pages of ‘Rumour of Calcutta’ is so far beyond me. Later books other people have made available, and I point to them where I can – also sidebar). Increasingly the clumsy copyright assignment thing seems an issue to fight since there is something truly obscene about making people who work for free for large journals, where those journals are owned and run as sausage factory style conglomerates. Having to sign away ‘rights’ – as if that really was the key concern (not all journals are like this and open access is a real boon) is something tenured profs can take or leave, but anyone else in need of a publication for validation and employment prospects, ever diminishing, has to swallow it whole. Or do they? Sometimes I’ve just forgotten on purpose to send in the rights form – but then some poorly paid staffer, or even unpaid intern, has to chase it up. So I am watching this little episode, described by Steve Shaviro below, since it is a further fold on the sorry tale. Follow the post to the original at the Pinocchio Theory site and watch the comments to see if there is a resolution. Good luck Steve.

Work for Hire?

Here we go again. I was asked to sign a contract for an essay I have written, which is scheduled to appear in an edited collection. Let’s leave aside the fact that I wrote the essay — it was solicited for this collection — in summer 2010, and yet it will not appear in print until 2013. I think that the glacial pace of academic publishing is a real problem. But that is not what is bothering me at the moment. The contract that I was asked to sign, so that my essay could appear in an edited volume published by Oxford University Press, contained the following clause:

WORK-FOR-HIRE. The Contributor acknowledges that the Publisher has commissioned the Contribution as a work-for-hire, that the Publisher will be deemed the author of the Contributior as employer-for-hire, and that the copyright in the Contribution will belong to the Publisher during the initial and any renewal or extended period(s) of copyright. To the extent, for any reason, that the Contribution or any portion thereof does not qualify or otherwise fails to be a work-for-hire, theContributor hereby assigns to the Publisher whatever right, title and interest the Contributor would otherwise have in the Contribution throughout the world.

I found this entirely unbelievable, and unacceptable. Since when has original academic writing been classified as “work-for-hire”? It is possible, I suppose, that things like writing encyclopedia essays might be so categorized; but I have never, in my 30 years in academa, encountered a case in which primary scholarship or criticism was so classified. Is this something widespread, but which I simply haven’t heard about? I’d welcome information on this score from people who know more about the academic publishing situation than I do. But it seems to me, at first glance, that the Press is upping the ante in terms of trying to monopolize “intellectual property,” by setting up an arrangement that both cuts off the public from access and denies any rights to the henceforth-proletarianized “knowledge worker” or producer. I am unwilling to countenance such an abridgement of my ability to make the words that I have written more freely available.
In any case, I wrote back to the Press as follows:

I am unwilling to sign the Contributor’s Agreement for my submission to the Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics as it is currently worded. In particular, I find section 2, defining my contribution as work-for-hire, completely objectionable. I entirely reject the notion that original academic work of this sort can be defined as work-for-hire. I think that this is demeaning to academic scholarship and disrespectful of intellectual labor.

Section 2 of the contract further stipulates that even if “the Contribution or any portion thereof does not qualify or otherwise fails to be a work-for-hire, the Contributor hereby assigns to the Publisher whatever right, title and interest the Contributor would otherwise have in the Contribution throughout the world.” I find this objectionable as well. Even if my contribution to the volume is exempted from being considered work-for-hire, I am unwilling to sign over my own rights to the publisher in this unlimited way. In particular, I insist upon retaining, among other rights, the right to make my contribution available for download on my own website and the right to include this contribution at some later date as part of a self-authored publication.

I guess we will see what happens. I hope the Press backs down and offers more reasonable terms. If that doesn’t happen, I will simply have to withdraw my contribution from the edited volume. At some point, the essay will appear on my website for free download — whether because the publisher backs down and permits me to do this, or whether I give up on print publication.
Not getting the essay into print will mean that I won’t get the credit (or a line in my Vita) for the publication of an article that I am, in fact, rather proud of. This kind of credit matters in academia — salaries, among other things, are based on it. But as a full Professor with tenure I am in a rather privileged position: I can afford to lose the credit. The same is not the case for academics in more precarious positions — who might well be forced to sign away their rights in cases like this, because their jobs heavily depend upon their publication record, and one additional line on their Vita might make a major difference.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 11:37 am and is filed underPersonalPolitics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Critique of Everything

The fine folk at the Finnish Anthropology Society asked me to respond to Jason Toynbee’s piece ‘The Critical Accomplice’  (issue 3/2011) where he started out by saying: ‘In this piece I focus upon anthropology’s close ally in the contemporary social sciences, cultural studies. I argue that its core concepts and drives – some increasingly shared by anthropologists  are in need of serious critique’ (p60). Jason’s text is well worth a read, but I suspect it would be a copyright violation to repost it here. I will write him to see. In the meantime, you can read my response, which is an oblique one – a re-versioning of a piece written for Tarcisco and previously only available in Portuguese.

Critique of Everthing

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Centre for Cultural Studies Goldsmiths MAs and PhD

Imagebar

cfp Return to the Street

 

return to the street – cfp

27-28 June 2012

Goldsmiths, University of London

A two day conference exploring the shifting role of the street as discourse and real physical space in the context of contemporary culture and politics.

Identity formation and public debate do not simply occur online or through new media technologies. As the recent excessive imprisonment of those involved in the UK riots this summer demonstrated, the control and regulation of real bodies within real spaces is still very much at stake. Within the context of riots, protests and occupations in the UK and worldwide – the street appears to have become once more the space where people gather to be heard and counted. Considering this ‘return’ (although it is questionable whether we every really left the street) how might a line be drawn between the type of discourse which pays lip service to banal, neoliberal fetishised notions of street as site and object of subversive cool – incorporating graffiti, fashion, skateboarding, hiphop – and a more critical and engaged examination of processes of exclusion, confrontation and violence which constitute the everyday reality of life on and in the street. The street is and should not simply be flagged up as a site where power relations are toyed with as part of an ongoing Damien Hirst-meets-Banksyesque flirtation between public and private space. Such fetishisation ignores or glosses over notions of territory, surveillance and fear.

Yet at every moment attempts to challenge existing power structures from within the space of the street are at risk of being recuperated in the service of bourgeois, neoliberal modes of consumption. The return to pedestrianised zones in major European cities is frequently part of gentrification processes and occurs within privately owned spaces with the aim of encouraging consumerism rather than increased social interaction precluded by motorised city spaces. The festival atmosphere at protests and occupations might also be considered not simply as a means of creating greater solidarity amongst participants but as embodying a Bakhtinian form of carnival in which the political impetus of the event or movement exhausts itself in a media circus of spectacle and rhetoric staged between protestors and law-enforcement. Similarly, how does the crowd or the collective end up reproducing existing forms of exclusion in claiming to speak for the masses as a homogeneous whole? Those whose access to the street is already restricted due to race, gender or disability must frequently concede their voices to those for whom the street is taken for granted as usable, occupiable and negotiable space. At the same time, a more critical stance is needed towards both the romanticisation and demonization of the crowd in public space. It is, for example, naive to think that issues such as the systemic street harassment of women in Cairo disappeared completely during the occupation of Tahrir Square yet this was the rhetoric widely presented. Conversely, how might the pervasive politics of fear which posits the crowd as unruly mob or herd, keeping people off the streets, through the imposition of curfews and devices like the mosquito be redressed? What needs to be done to encourage greater mobilisation on the street from different groups and individuals?

The aim of this conference is to rethink the street both in terms of its radical potential as site where dissent, critique and change can all be achieved whilst remaining critical as to the limits of such radicality. Where does the street lead us and what happens off the street? How might we avoid the dead ends and turf wars involved both in conceptualising and using the street? How might we set about building a new politics of the street? We welcome proposals for papers, discussions, short films, mini-workshops and other interventions engaging with the above issues and questions.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

– street as fetish object

– societies of discipline and control

– inclusion/exclusion/exchange

– street as site of resistance/containment

– subversive potential/impotential of street art

and fashion

– hiphop struggles and activism

– surveillance – cctv and self-mapping apps

– politics of the crowd

– negotiating the street – strategies and tactics

– territory/circulation

– politics of fear

– living and working on the street

– off the street

 

Abstracts/proposals of 300-500 words should be sent to: S.Fuggle@gold.ac.uk by 3 February 2012.

Programme will be confirmed in early March 2012.

Organised by the Centre for Cultural Studies with the generous support of the Department of Media and Communications and the Graduate School, Goldsmiths.

Rough justifications [Marx Course reading]

 Rough justifications for including these texts in my prelim reading for the Capital course (see here).

Theodor W. Adorno, The Culture Industry

Adorno is famous for his dictum, “No Art after Auschwitz”, but it’s not necessarily something that he said in his own voice, it’s really important to see that he was putting this forward as a two part dialectic in the voice of those who at the level of satisfied contemplation, at the level of critics, did not break with the bourgeois categories, it was the idle chatter of that class that both said “you cannot make art after Auschwitz” and were incapable of understanding why it was barbaric to make art after Auschwitz. Now, everyone says Adorno was elitist, he was anti-art, but no. In that dialectic he actually has a more important place for the real rebellious possibility of art as something that we all could do. It could still be co-opted and recuperated… and of course he’s still anxious about that. And thinks under capitalism it’s hopeless. Well… We don’t need people to only be artists.

Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures

Aijaz Ahmad had denounced as imperialist the ‘three worlds theory’ in a debate with Frederic Jameson, where Jameson had called third world literature always an allegory of nation – clearly far too much a generalization on Fred’s part. ‘In Theory’ was like a brick thrown in a stagnant pool for us as postgraduate students, the first widely read book of theory in a long while that did not scrimp on the organizational politics. And with the added bonus of actual text-consulting detailed argument that corrects Edward Said’s too-quick dismissal of Marx on India.

Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share

Georges Bataille, especially in his early work, exhibits a refusal to be crushed by the brutality of events, war, oppression, morality. ‘The Accursed Share’ is the culmination of his economic and political writings, though I prefer the harder to access 1930s work (discussed here).

Jonathan.Beller, The Cinematic Mode of Production

In Jonathan Beller’s book ‘The Cinematic Mode of Production’, attention to the gaze and the market of the spectacle advances both film theory and situationist ideas to offer a platform for understanding new media as a terrain of struggle in market, ideology and practice. Just as we willingly go and sit in the dark before the cinema, we also comply with the protocols of the digital. Virtual selves abroad in the world while backache and repetitive strain compensate for touch type immediacy. The world shrunk to a venture start-up as if the assembly of work-station and media-console wasn’t also co-ordinated with wiring configurations, electricity grids and mining industries that make the corralling of workers in all kinds of underpaid labour also part of an integrated geo-circuit.

Sylvere Lotringer (ed), Hatred of Capitalism: A Reader

This book just has the best title, and a great selection of essays from William Burroughs to Marx to Kathy Acker – and the circuit is intended.

Karl Marx, Capital: Volume One

Only volume one! Get them all. Start a reading group. Do not miss the footnotes and all the fun jokes about Money bags. Also there are vampires, werewolves, bibles exchanged for brandy, and trips to Australia, India – Lord Jagganath – and tributes to Leonard Horner, factory inspector and hero of the working classes. It is important to read more than the first chapter. And to read it anew every decade or so, since the context changes Marx, just as Marx tried to change the context (the point!).

Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto

The Manifesto was written over the winter of 47-48 for the International Workingmen’s Association. First drafted on the train from Manchester to London, then finished in a frenzy of work by Marx in Brussels in January 48. It influence astonishing, global, relevant still, etc. Everyone can quote from it: from its first words: ‘Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa’ (1848/1970:41) – ‘A spectre is haunting Europe’, to its last words ‘Mögen die herrschendenKlassen vor iner kommunistischen Revolution zittern. Die Proletarier haben nichts in ihr zu verlieren als ihr Ketten. Sie haben eine Welt zu gewinnen. Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch’ (1848/1970:82-3) – ‘Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of all countries, unite’. The Manifesto was written just as Europe launch into a period of revolutionary turmoil. Marx was himself an activist, expelled from Germany for political reasons, exiled in Paris then London. He was, apparently, a rebel rousing type, turning up to demos and meetings a little pissed, but able, in repartee, to make mince meat of any other ideologues – yet the revolutionary period of 1848 did not deliver freedom, and Marx’s hope for the situation was disappointed. He turned to the library – although never gave up activism – to provide an explanation.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason

In this bumper book of critique Spivak shows she knows ‘the’ debates around a particular author or field with a quick sketch, then she shows she knows the critical angles on these debates and that these could be fruitful, but are often not without problems, and then, rather than detailing or extending the problems, she takes some moment or oblique angle on the text and levers it open to teach us something crucial. Repays reading over and over – wonderfully written, learned, and an education in itself. (more)

Michael Taussig My Cocaine Museum

The myriad examples in ‘My Cocaine Museum’ are assembled to order and disorder Colombia, where Mick has done 30+ years’ fieldwork, such that each of the curios selected for an impossible museum of gold, weapons and profit have to make sense in a history, and in syncopation with other examples for an archive of the imaginary institution, providing a model for eloquence… that I give students as an example of what might be possible if scholarship could be re-imagined.

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Slavoj Žižek, Revolution at the Gates: Selected Writings of Lenin from 1917

It has often been said that Zizek never has a thought that has not been published…. twice. Good thing too. We’d have to invent him if he did not invent himself.
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The course starts Jan 10. All welcome.
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Pantomime Terror Lecture 30.9.2008

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmoidd_pantomime-terror_news

This, here, for the gnawing criticism of the mice, is my inaugural Professorial lecture at Goldsmiths September 30 2008. Details: presented by Professor John Hutnyk of the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths. Title: ‘Pantomime Terror: the paranoid commuter and the danger of music’. Introduced by Professor Geoffrey Crossick. Please note there is a missing part at 48;38 where there was a tape changeover. At this point its important to know I discussed the Fun^da^mental video DIY Cookbook, available here: http://dai.ly/aZeu7n
and there is a bit of the discussion is missing, but covered in this blog post:https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/2007/05/12/cookbook-diy-video/ – sorry its complicated, but if you like the first 48 mins, then why not watch the short 3 min FDM vid, read the short blog, then return for the eccentric finale!
Thanks heaps to Adela for filming this.

Read Marx’s “Capital” at Goldsmiths: everybody is welcome (unless your name is David Willetts)

Capitalism and Cultural Studies – Prof John Hutnyk:

tuesday evenings from january 10, 2012 – 5pm-7pm Goldsmiths RHB 309 Free – all welcome.

No fee (unless, sorry, you are doing this for award – and that, friends, is Willetts’ fault – though the Labour Party have a share of the blame too).

This course involves a close reading of Karl Marx’s Capital (Volume One).
The connections between cultural studies and critiques of capitalism are considered in an interdisciplinary context (cinema studies, anthropology, musicology, international relations, and philosophy) which reaches from Marx through to Film Studies, from ethnographic approaches to Heidegger, from anarchism and surrealism to German critical theory and poststructuralism/post-colonialism/post-early-for-christmas. Topics covered include: alienation, commodification, production, technology, education, subsumption, anti-imperialism, anti-war movement and complicity. Using a series of illustrative films (documentary and fiction) and key theoretical texts (read alongside the text of Capital), we examine contemporary capitalism as it shifts, changes, lurches through its very late 20th and early 21st century manifestations – we will look at how cultural studies copes with (or does not cope with) class struggle, anti-colonialism, new subjectivities, cultural politics, media, virtual and corporate worlds.
http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/CU71012A%20Cultural%20Studies%20&%20Capitalism%2
02011-12.pdf

Email me to get the reading Guide. And please watch Citizen Kane before the first lecture, and read the prefaces if you can.

The lectures/seminars begin on Tuesday 10th January 2011 between 5 and 7pm and will run for 10 weeks (with a week off in the middle) in the Richard Hoggart Building (RHB 309), Goldsmiths College. Students are required to bring their own copy of the Penguin, International Publishers or Progress Press editions of Karl Marx Capital Vol I. Reading about 100 pages a week. (Please don’t get tricked into buying the abridged English edition/nonsense!)

Note: The Centre for Cultual Studies at Goldsmiths took a decision to make as many as possible of its lecture series open to the public without fee. Seminars, essays, library access etc remain for sale. Still, here is a chance to explore cultural studies without getting into debt. The classes are MA level, mostly in the day – though in spring the Capital course is early tuesday evening. We usually run 10 week courses. Reading required will be announced in class, but preliminary reading suggestions can also be found by following the links. RHB means main building of Goldsmiths – Richard Hoggart Building. More info on other free events from CCS here: https://hutnyk.wordpress.com/what-is-to-be-done:

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Update: Please ise this form to send a course evaluation to Sonia.Ali [at] gold.ac.uk Here.

Course Gen. evaluation form