Crisis – Creation – Action – Critique
Thursday 9th June 2011, Goldsmiths, University of London
Day 1 of ‘Whose University?’, a two-day symposium organised by Goldsmiths and Birkbeck, co-hosted by GLITS, Goldsmiths Literature Seminar and
InC, Research Group in Continental Philosophy. 9-10 June 2011.
In the wake of the government’s plans to drastically alter the funding of higher education, the very ethos of the university is undergoing transformation. The result of withdrawing public funding will be that higher education is no longer seen as a public good. If universities are controlled by market mechanisms that replicate existing distributions of economic power, they will only perpetuate social inequalities. Differential fees will intensify the financial disparity between universities, forging a two-tier system. With universities becoming service providers and students acting as consumers, learning experiences can only be diminished, reduced to quantifiable preferences. The arts and humanities will suffer deeply; how are we to respond to these measures?
Resistance is a one day interdisciplinary event held in conjunction with ‘The Idea of the University’ (Friday 10th June) that will foster debate on the current crisis in higher education. The intention of Resistance is twofold: to defend the role of the arts and humanities in academic learning and forge discussion around the issue of resistance. Why is the study of the arts and humanities indispensable? How are these fields crucial to critical reflection on human values and principles? What are the most effective modes of resisting the changes to higher education? How can literature itself operate as a mode of resistance?
Possible themes include but are not limited to:
• The commodification of the university
• Violence on the streets and systematic violence
• Reified subjectivity in the university
• Activism and the arts
• The arts as resistance to instrumental reason
• Resistance as creation, action and/or critique
• Literature and/or language as a mode of resistance
• The relationship between ethical responsibility and political action/ singularity and universality
To enhance energy and debate, we are open to presentations which depart from the traditional format of 20 minute papers; we welcome collaborative pieces as well as work from the creative arts.
There will be a roundtable discussion for all participants at the end of Day 2.
Please send abstracts/proposals of no longer than 300 words to
resistance-glits AT gold.ac.uk by Friday 13th May 2011