Mark Paschal

has written for Reclamations Journal, and is a member of University Research Group Experiment (URGE). He is also a graduate student at UC Santa Cruz.

Towards a History of the Professional: On the Class Composition of the Research University

Towards a History of the Professional: On the Class Composition of the Research University

The intro­duc­tion of research into the mis­sion of higher edu­ca­tion, a trans­for­ma­tion which took place first in Ger­many and Scot­land, had pro­found and last­ing effects; prin­ci­pal among them was pro­vid­ing a means by which fac­ulty in the United States (where the state was far weaker than it was in Europe) could pro­fes­sion­al­ize, orga­nize, and cre­ate a new insti­tu­tional form – a hybrid of Euro­pean and US higher edu­ca­tion now hailed as the Amer­i­can Research University.

Against Humanities: The Self-Consciousness of the Corporate University

Against Humanities: The Self-Consciousness of the Corporate University

A stan­dard fea­ture of the hand-wringing asso­ci­ated with the cri­sis of the uni­ver­sity is a fix­a­tion on the human­i­ties. After all, for those of us in the so-called cre­ative and crit­i­cal fields, illus­trat­ing, visu­al­iz­ing and – dare we say it – brand­ing the cri­sis is a new and unique oppor­tu­nity to show off. This is what we went to school for, isn’t it? Take a recent event at Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity, which dra­ma­tized the ques­tion with the fol­low­ing thought exper­i­ment: after some sort of mar­itime dis­as­ter (details are scarce), a group of under­grad­u­ates com­man­deers a life raft. As luck would have it, they have a bit of space left – but, tragic twist of fate, the only peo­ple left to save are pro­fes­sors. Instead of giv­ing up the seats to their elders, our clever young nar­cis­sists make the pro­fes­sors present a case as to why they deserve the remain­ing spot on the life raft.

A Small Taste of Student Fists: The UCSC Campus Shutdown

A Small Taste of Student Fists: The UCSC Campus Shutdown

Leg­end has it that the cam­pus of the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Santa Cruz was designed by a prison archi­tect who, in response to stu­dent riots at UC Berke­ley, cre­ated a cam­pus grid with­out a cen­tral point. Lack­ing a major quad or lawn, demon­stra­tions would be dis­persed to the indi­vid­ual col­leges, defused and con­trolled. While this leg­end is cer­tainly not true – UCSC was con­ceived of as an exper­i­ment in “human-scale” edu­ca­tion whose exis­tence was to chal­lenge the dehu­man­iz­ing size of state uni­ver­si­ties – the lay­out of UCSC does present this chal­lenge to stu­dent activists.

Hostile and Notorious: The Conditions of Private Property

Hostile and Notorious: The Conditions of Private Property

Fol­low­ing the recent four-day occu­pa­tion of an empty bank build­ing at 75 River Street in Santa Cruz and the attempted occu­pa­tion of an empty ware­house in Seat­tle, the con­tro­ver­sial tac­tic of attempt­ing to seize and hold vacant pri­vate prop­erty has been taken up as a new front of a sprawl­ing social move­ment. These actions move beyond protest­ing the enclo­sure of pub­lic space and sti­fling of free speech; they aim to expand the scope of cri­tique to the role that pri­vate prop­erty plays in our cur­rent cri­sis. This change in scope has not been lost on the land­lords. “I’m def­i­nitely not in agree­ment with this group tak­ing over pri­vate prop­erty,” a local prop­erty owner told the Mer­cury News.

A House Is a Home (with the help of bolt cutters): on occupation and its potentialities

A House Is a Home (with the help of bolt cutters): on occupation and its potentialities

Occupy-related protests have steadily increased in num­ber and mil­i­tancy, and so has the result­ing police repres­sion. This has only made it more urgent to to iden­tify and under­stand recent impor­tant steps in the trans­for­ma­tion of the move­ment. These steps were most vis­i­ble in the gen­eral strike in Oak­land, and the later occu­pa­tion of the Traveller’s Aid build­ing, and they have begun to expand through­out the country.