Saturday Apr. 28, 1:50-3:20 Session 3

SS2102 Amphitheatre


Mansoor Behnam and Felipe  Quetzalcoatl
A Cup of Coffee with Kafka (36 min., 2010)

Whether coming, going, arriving, or departing, willingly or unwillingly, we are in constant motion. This rings especially true in a globalized world, where the interchanges of peoples, commodities, and ideas across ever-fluid borders have generated an array of political, economic, and cultural phenomena. Constant movement is embedded in our politics, histories, philosophies, literatures, and artistic expressions, which are saturated with narratives preoccupied with moving across and redefining territorial, cultural, social, linguistic, and intellectual boundaries. At the same time, perhaps constant movement is as integrated in human experience as living itself, for, we may ask, what is human life but a conscious, transitory flash along the vast expanse of the universe?

Zach Ruiter and Anthony Gulston (Trent University)
Nefarious Steve and the Alfredo Sauce 
(36 min., 2012)

It is a 20 minute multimedia hybrid documentary-zine dispatch dedicated to the public use of reason within Trent University President Stephen Franklin’s land of “proprietary commercial information”.We’ll surf incremental waves of privatization in our newly created and penultimate faculty, the Faculty of Excellence-in-Commercializing-University-Research-for-the-Purpose-of-Greenwashing-Corporate-Profit-Sustainability-while-Calling-it-Activism-Studies. We’ll fall into the soup by speaking with the private consultants contracted by the administration to avoid accountability, but we’ll also show you the successful student initiatives combating austerity through enacting parallel structures.
It’s time to retake the university.

Presented by Zach Ruiter in association with Anthony Gulston. Zach and Anthony are colleagues at Arthur, Trent University and Peterborough’s Independent Press.


The Organization of the University: Social Struggles Within Neoliberalization (III)

Fabiana Medina (Autonomous University of Mexico City)
Autonomous University of Mexico City: Harassment in an Alternative Project

This paper seeks to present the characteristics and history of the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM) that make it a superior alternative education project aimed at groups traditionally excluded from this option. The brunt of which is the subject since 2010 has different profiles ranging from choking the current budget by local leftist government and the consequent violation of university autonomy; the attempt of employers to control workers’ union; and led the discrediting public from within the rectory.

Degree in Social Communication from Universidad Autónoma  Metropolitana. She  completed a Masters in Education at the Universidad Marista. She  has collaborated on projects of popular education and alternative communication for over 17 years.
She teaches at the UACM since 2008. She  is currently a member of the Executive Coordination of the Trade Union of Workers of the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México  (SUTUACM).

Alice Cervinkova (Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic)
Unrest in Czech Universities: Policies and Practices of Protest

Although efforts to introduce neoliberal changes in higher education system in Czech Republic can be dated back to the middle of the last decade, only at that time they gather broader awareness among students, academics and public. Government introduced legislative intention of new HE law in 2011. Negotiations among representatives of HEI´s and Ministry of education failed. Ministry decided to continue with the legislative process without taking into account criticism and without including any proposals given by the representatives of academic community. This failure has mobilized academic representatives and academic community to express their concerns in the form of protests. In my contribution I would like to reflect on some aspects of ongoing protests against proposed changes in Czech universities. I will build on my (auto)ethnography data and document analysis. My primary concern will be politics and practices of protests that I have been observing in two Czech Universities (one traditional university with medieval roots and one new regional university). I will focus on following questions:

How have been the protests framed?
What are the key themes and topics of the protests?
What imaginaries about education have been mobilized?
How have been the protests linked to other societal concerns?

I am sociologist and PhD student currently working on ethnography based reserach on higher education in Czech republic. I am also academic activist involved in the initiative for Independent Universities.

Goovinda Juárez Rodríguez (Autonomous University of Mexico City)
The Autonomous University of Mexico City and the Right to Development


Workshop II

Occupy Harvard Facilitation Working Group
Philip Cartelli
(Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University); Hannah Hofheinz (Harvard Divinity School); John Hulsey (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University); Derin Korman (Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University)
Occupy Pedagogy: Facilitating Collective Engagement in the Classroom

The collective process that has been elaborated over the course of Occupy has profound consequences for teaching and learning in institutions of higher education. These lessons need not only be applied in alternative educational frameworks but can also be used to organize resistance within neoliberal universities complicit in structures of social inequality, privilege, and economic self-interest. How might an Occupy pedagogy differ from both dominant and existing critical models of education?
We four members of the Occupy Harvard facilitation working group propose a session that will address these topics by asking:
• Can a class of students be a collective? Ought it be?
• How do we move from critique to accountability?
• Does consensus belong in higher education?
In the spirit of the collective process use in the Occupy movement, this workshop will be proposed as a series of facilitated discussions. Drawing on our combined experience as facilitators and teachers, we aim to offer participants an interactive, engaged, and experimental setting in which to explore the pedagogical strengths, weaknesses, and overall implications of this mode of engagement when it is adopted as a mode of teaching.

Organized in the wake of occupations in New York City and Boston, Occupy Harvard’s tents went up in Harvard Yard on November 9, 2011. Occupy Harvard has since stood in solidarity with Occupy Everywhere, while unveiling a set of critiques specific to its own educational-institutional context, from repudiating the fiscal policies guiding the Harvard Management Corporation’s practices to interrogating complicit forms of pedagogy and scholarship. As students, teachers, and university community members broadly speaking, we are committed to the possibility of a post-neoliberal education. As members of the Occupy Harvard facilitation working group, we have a stake in the horizontal, participatory processes that guide our engagement.


Workshop III

Counter Cartographies Collective
 Mapping Universities in Crisis

We propose to lead a collective mapping workshop to produce a map of higher education struggles across North America and to begin to create an alternative cartography of the different universities imagine and are already constructing. In the workshop, we will create a physical map of where different movements and projects are located, and their relationships to each other and other movements, and produce a conceptual map of the issues, tactics, tools and problems emerging in different struggles. We will use the activity to foster conversations about concrete strategies and coordination among different participants and to highlight the existing and possible connections between struggles in different sectors and different places. The exact organization of the workshop will depend on the number of participants and their interests and we are also open to organizing the workshop with other individuals or groups interested in using collective cartography as a political tool.

One response to “Saturday Apr. 28, 1:50-3:20 Session 3

  1. Pingback: Draft Program (as of March 21) | The University is Ours!

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