Recast the Institution: Reports from the Goldsmiths Boycott

Recast the Institution: Reports from the Goldsmiths Boycott

Outwardly, the sequence of events at Goldsmiths may be read as a demoralizing series of defeats, by which SMT continues to erode worker security irrespective of organized opposition, made all the more disheartening by mass resignations—with many citing toxic working conditions under current management as the reason for their voluntary departure. The stakes of the struggle are also revealed just here with two potential outcomes: 1) For SMT to realize their restructure, erecting a more violent institution while flagrantly working to impair future oppositions by reducing the workforce and targeting trade unionists for redundancy; or 2) For the dispute and boycott of Goldsmiths to mark not simply the unmatched extent of one local pushback but the mere beginnings of a protracted labor campaign to be sustained against the university in its current form—and perhaps against worker-governability by the managerialism that now characterizes higher education. It may only be possible to see the struggle defined by the defeat of one side in the presumption that its ends are within sight.

Introduction: Notes on Contemporary University Struggles

Introduction: Notes on Contemporary University Struggles

In the last two years, renewed militancy in university struggles has led to both victories and defeats at campuses across the country and beyond. Against the backdrop of continuing academic proletarianization, ever rising student debt, and expanded campus policing, students and workers have nonetheless formed new tactics and solidarities, and forced numerous concessions from university administrations. This dossier presents critical reflections and reportbacks from recent university struggles, indicating some of the possibilities, paradoxes, and challenges of ongoing fights to transform the university.

Midwest Labor Group Inquiry

Midwest Labor Group Inquiry

By “cooperative labor union,” we meant an organization that would focus on building the power of rank and file workers by pooling our collective resources and knowledge to further on-the-ground organizing. We were tired of being subordinate to and undermined by business unions that weren’t interested in building the capacity necessary to take militant action and, frankly, didn’t care about our interests as workers. We also wanted to assist new organizing efforts of workers both inside and outside of universities in order to build a powerful working class base that could defend its own interests. The vision was to join workers from multiple Midwestern universities in one union or cooperative labor organization. We hoped to eventually expand to other universities in the region and beyond, and to include adjuncts and service workers as well.

Cops Off Campus Research Collective Inquiry

Cops Off Campus Research Collective Inquiry

Our theory of the university - how to study it and how to be in relation to it - calls for a fundamental rethinking of property relations. It is a theory that refuses many collective assumptions of the university, perhaps most centrally its benevolence and its inevitable future. To focus on accumulation, capital, and land  has the potential to widen the frame of who the stakeholders are in this struggle beyond students and faculty so as to be accountable to and ideally in solidarity with other campus workers and the people who live in areas adjacent to college and universities. To think the university in this way is to shift away from the idea of being “in but not of” to grapple with the ways we’re all of it, whether or not we want to be and thus to refuse a tempting absolution from complicity with the institutions’ violence. We understand ourselves as working in and on the university, with our different and shifting positions in relation to university institutions (tenure-track, tenured, adjunct, staff, grad student-worker, ex-academic) to agitate across our positionalities—particularly in reckoning with the limits and possibilities for studying, collaborating, and organizing in solidarity with each other.

Abolitionist University Studies: An Invitation

Abolitionist University Studies: An Invitation

The abolition university recognizes that abstract oppositionality and critique, left to their own devices, may in fact unwittingly reproduce accumulation regimes by offering their practitioners the sense of moral supremacy and social exteriority necessary to imagine knowledge production as a form of change in itself. Instead, we imagine the abolition university as a relation, a network, and an ethos with various potentials for transforming what and whom the university can be for.

Notes on Contemporary University Struggles: A Dossier

Notes on Contemporary University Struggles: A Dossier

In the last two years, renewed militancy in university struggles has led to both victories and defeats at campuses across the country and beyond. Against the backdrop of continuing academic proletarianization, ever rising student debt, and expanded campus policing, students and workers have nonetheless formed new tactics and solidarities, and forced numerous concessions from university administrations. This dossier presents critical reflections and reportbacks from recent university struggles, indicating some of the possibilities, paradoxes, and challenges of ongoing fights to transform the university.

Our Consciousness and Theirs: Further Thoughts on the Class Character of University Worker Activism

Our Consciousness and Theirs: Further Thoughts on the Class Character of University Worker Activism

Class consciousness does not automatically develop from poor working conditions (nor, as we will address, should an analysis of our working conditions be restricted only to questions of hours, pay, etc., without including ideological aspects of work); rather, consciousness develops when individual demands are actively made political and collective: in other words, through class struggle. 

This Concerns Everyone (1981)

This Concerns Everyone (1981)

In all capitalist countries, organizing work means dividing workers: exploring ever new “labor reserves,” just as one begins production on a new mining deposit, wearing down and laminating its dense cores. The organization of labor never stabilizes, even in periods where technology remains constant. Workers resist a mode of exploitation which seeks, limitlessly, to intensify work and make labor-power more lucrative and capitalism strives to detect and deepen weak points within worker resistance. 

American Imperialism is the Bitter Enemy of the Palestinian People

The Palestinian Left Will Not Be Hijacked – A Critique of Palestine: A Socialist Introduction

On one level, the liquidation of revolutionary Palestinian memory and thought can be contested by recounting history through a materialist method. And on a more urgent level, we should ask what insights the Palestinian Left tradition can offer in strategizing for the liberation of Palestine and developing a robust internationalist, anti-imperialist movement in the present moment. 

The FBI File on Foucault

The FBI File on Foucault

For Foucault, we should pay serious attention to the file, rather than dismiss it as a mere bundle of administrative minutiae, because it produces what he called “an administrative and centralized individuality” through disciplinary mechanisms of visibility and writing.