Dear Fellow Reworkers,
As you all likely know, our upcoming conference coincides with the “Reclaim Your Education – Global Week of Action 2009.” In connection with associated protests taking place around the world, we would like to collaborate on declaring our visions, strategies, and demands in a public document that we can take back to our respective local struggles. And so, in the spirit of the Situationist’s manifesto, “On the Poverty of Student Life,” our goal is to articulate:
• A vision of what education could and should be, making explicit the desire and need for political action within and beyond the university
• What it would mean to reclaim our education, strategically, tactically, and as part of our everyday practices
• An alternative framing of the university in crisis, against the supposed inevitability of the neoliberal university
• The university as a terrain of political struggles, with the aim of dismantling the corporate monopoly on higher education by reworking the university into a common for alternative political projects
While not directly political activity in the traditional sense, we believe that the Reworking and Rethinking the University conferences are capable of contributing to struggles over education taking place around the world. It is in this spirit that we hope to write a statement that captures some of the intellectual and political work that goes on at this conference in a way that can be collectively transmitted to those who did not attend the conference.
That being said, we recognize that there are considerable time restrictions which limit what can be collectively written during the course of an already busy weekend. That is why, in the run up to the conference, we’d like to invite you all to begin brainstorming ideas for this document here on our blog (click on ‘comment’ below and post your ideas via the comments section).
Beginning on the first day of the conference, we’ll post sheets of butcher paper on the wall to further collect and collaborate on our visions, strategies, and demands for reworking the university. On Sunday morning we’ll convene with these ideas to produce a manifesto and to develop plans for its dissemination. We’ll print and post online copies of it for you to distribute on your home campuses.
We look forward to collaborating with you all!
Committee on Revolutionizing the AcaDemy (ComRAD)