Middlesex Philosophy becomes Kingston Philosophy

Kingston University has bought up much of the Middlesex department.

Kingston University will re-establish the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy by employing four senior staff from Middlesex: Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford.

The MA and PhD programmes will be re-launched at Kingston this September, and all current post-graduate students will be invited to move along with the staff.

But current BA students will finish their courses at Middlesex.

It’s great news for those gaining a new home, and great news for Kingston– which is showing itself to be a university committed to scholarship despite the current economic circumstances. Still, Middlesex is getting away with the closure and it’s unclear what will happen to junior staff (my impression is that this is a very small number of people, but I’m not sure). And:

It is not clear what will happen to almost a million pounds awarded to the department by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) as a result of the last Research Assessment Exercise. The quality-related funding of £175,000 a year used to fund the salaries of the departing staff and Kingston is thought likely to seek its transfer.

Academic Boycott of Middlesex

There is now a call for an academic boycott of Middlesex, with the full support of the philosophy department. Spread the word far and wide, especially to non-philosophers. And commit to the boycott here.

The text is as follows:

We the undersigned therefore commit ourselves to an academic boycott of Middlesex University until it shows evidence of full reinstatement and continued support for its philosophy program.

Prior to such reinstatement, we will refuse to act as external examiners or to deliver talks at the school. We will encourage colleagues to reject job offers at Middlesex. We will refuse to visit campus for any reason other than to protest the decision to close the philosophy program. We will, in short, cease to engage with Middlesex as a legitimate academic institution.

Middlesex: It’s getting worse.

From the Save Middlesex Philosophy Blog:

Some Middlesex University Philosophy students, along with Philosophy professors Peter Osborne, Peter Hallward, and Christian Kerslake, were suspended from the University this afternoon. Hallward and Osborne were issued with letters announcing their suspension from the University with immediate effect, pending investigation into their involvement in the recent campus occupations. The suspension notice blocks them from entering University premises or contacting in any way University students and employees without the permission of Dean Ed Esche (e.esche@mdx.ac.uk) or a member of the University’s Executive.

As John Protevi writes:

Administrators at other universities are carefully monitoring this situation and due to a ratcheting effect, if these suspensions are not overturned by international protest, they will become common practice. We must prevent this administrative bullying of our colleagues, who were doing nothing but attempting to present their side of the case to public opinion.

What can you do?

Please forward this information to colleagues and to any listservs you may belong to.

Please sign the online petition at: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-middlesex-philosophy.html. Please include your institutional affiliation and location.

Please write a letter of protest by email, and in hard copy, concerning the original decision, the suspensions, or both. If you have already written in protest of the original decision, please consider writing again to protest the suspensions, which are in some sense an even more serious matter, as they strike at the very heart of academic freedom itself.

a. Examples of previous letters are here: http://savemdxphil.com/category/letters-of-support/

b. Email addresses of the Board of Governors of Middlesex University are here: michael@partridges.org.uk; A.Gajownik@mdx.ac.uk; A.Durant@mdx.ac.uk; thelindens@googlemail.com; andrew.parsons@rlb-law.com; avrobinson1@tiscali.co.uk; l_spence1@sky.com; Bridget.Rulski@guardian.co.uk; colin.hughes@guardian.co.uk; T.Cockerton@mdx.ac.uk; P.A.Johnson@mdx.ac.uk; jritterman@blueyonder.co.uk; dinagray@btinternet.com; j.alleyne@mdx.ac.uk; geoff.lambert2@ntlworld.com; W.Ahmad@mdx.ac.uk; J.Compton-Bishop@mdx.ac.uk; j.mulroy1@btinternet.com; K.A.Bell@mdx.ac.uk; lorna.cocking@btinternet.com; M.House@mdx.ac.uk; M.Keen@mdx.ac.uk; m.driscoll@mdx.ac.uk; PeterCheeseman1@aol.com; Peter.Thomas2@justice.gsi.gov.uk; RS1000@live.mdx.ac.uk; stephen.hand@lr.org; s.knight@mdx.ac.uk; T.Kelly@mdx.ac.uk; T.Butland@mdx.ac.uk; e.esche@mdx.ac.uk

c. Please follow your email with a hard copy letter on departmental letterhead. The postal address is:

Board of Governors
Middlesex University in London
The Burroughs
London NW4 4BT England

d. Personal letters are great; departmental letters are even better.

e. If you agree to have your letter published on the Save Middlesex Philosophy website, you should BCC savemdxphil@gmail.com.

f. If you have a blog, please make a post on the situation and link to http://savemdxphil.com.


Full text of the letter I received from Middlesex VC Michael Driscoll, in response to the letter signed by the full Sheffield Philosophy Department:

“Dear Sirs, I refer to your letter of 04 May 2010. Your concerns regarding the closure of the Philosophy programme are noted.”

The signature was not even a high quality digital one.

Save Middlesex Philosophy

The petition now has over 9000 signatures, and they’re aiming for 10,000 by the end of the day. Go here to sign it.

    Other things you can do

1. Send emails to these people:
Michael Driscoll, vice-chancellor of the university – m.driscoll@mdx.ac.uk
Waqar Ahmad, deputy vice-chancellor, research and enterprise – w.ahmad@mdx.ac.uk
Margaret House, deputy vice-chancellor, academic – m.house@mdx.ac.uk
Ed Esche, dean of the School of Arts & Education – e.esche@mdx.ac.uk

2. If it’s feasible for you, get all members of your department to sign a collective letter. Send it to the above addresses, and also send a copy to the campaign: savemdxphil@gmail.com,

Baby denied NHS operation due to parents’ immigration status

A baby in Portsmouth has been denied operation on the NHS due to her parents’ immigration status. Sanika Ahmed suffered nerve damage in her arm during birth, and if the operation is not carried out within the next four weeks, her arm will be left paralysed. Her father was working in the UK legally until his work permit expired in 2009. Both parents are currently in the process of applying for leave to remain. The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Middlesex say that the parents must pay for Sanika’s treatment, or wait until they have been granted leave to remain in the UK. If are not allowed to stay, the future for a girl with a paralysed arm in Bangladesh is not particularly bright. You can read more here.

Sex and Gender Conference: Lancaster

Thinking About the Sex/Gender Distinction

A one-day conference hosted by Lancaster University Philosophy DepartmentWith support from the Royal Institute of Philosophy

Friday 8th February 2008

Venue: Lancaster University, Institute for Advanced Studies MR 2/3


  • 10.00 welcome and introductory remarks
  • 10.10-11.20 Jennifer Saul (Sheffield): ‘Woman’ as a contextually varying term
  • 11.20-12.30 Kathleen Lennon (Hull): Judith Butler on sex/gender and the morphological imaginary
  • 12.30-1.30 lunch (own arrangements)
  • 1.30-2.40 Stella Sandford (Middlesex: Sex and genos in Plato’s Republic
  • 2.40-3.50 Mari Mikkola (Stirling): Do women really exist?
  • 3.50-4.15 tea break (own arrangements)
  • 4.15-5.00 roundtable discussion on the sex/gender distinction and related matters: participants include Gill Howie, Celia Roberts and others
  • 5.45- drinks and dinner

    Attendance at this workshop is free. If you intend to attend and have not already contacted theorganiser, Alison Stone, to say so then please let her know (a.stone AT lancaster.ac.uk)