audio from edu-factory panel!

On February 24, 3Cs hosted a panel discussion at UNC on the theme of “We Won’t Pay for Your Crisis!”

We’ve finally got the audio from that event edited and posted. Click through each speaker’s name to download an mp3 of their talk, or click here for the group Q&A session. Apologies for the poor audio quality…

Speakers, and their talks, were:

  • Anna Curcio: postdoctoral associate, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University, founder member of the edu-factory collective and co-editor of Global University. Hierarchies and Self-education in the Knowledge Market (Autonomedia forthcoming).
  • Brett Neilson: associate professor in social and cultural analysis, University of Western Sydney, founder member of the edu-factory collective and co-editor of Global University. Hierarchies and Self-education in the Knowledge Market (Autonomedia forthcoming)
  • Michael Palm: assistant professor of communications, UNC-CH, co-editor of The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace, and organizer of the 2005 NYU graduate employees strike.

Here’s how the original flier described the event:

Is the current financial crisis affecting the university? University of Arizona is apparently over the brink, Princeton is bankrupt, and university job offers are being erased in the NY area. Is the crisis accentuating a threatening tendency in higher education towards a university model as “post-fordist knowledge factory + corporate research laboratory”, as some are claiming? At the same time, is there a better place to be than a university in times of crisis? how can we defend that space? what opportunities might this crisis open?

Join us to hear how others have been organizing in and around the university. How people have blasted open the narrow vision of the university as an ivory tower to demand rights to a just livelihood and access to education. Speakers from New York, Sydney-Australia and Rome-Italy will join us to discuss new ways that students, faculty and employees are taking the university to task for what it is- a tower of power not ivory.

April 27-28: Workshop with Colectivo Situaciones

Conocimiento en Movimiento: Challenges and Practices of Activist Research in Times/Spaces of Crisis
A Workshop in Three Parts with Colectivo Situaciones from Buenos Aires
Monday, April 27, 3:00- 6:30 pm and Tuesday, April 28, 3:00-7:00
Global Education Center, Fourth Floor, UNC-CH

Part I: Monday, Apr. 27 3:00-4:30 pm
Genealogies of activist research: The experience of Colectivo Situaciones

Part II: Monday, Apr. 27 4:45-6:30 pm
Activist Research at a Crossroads
Colectivo Situaciones with El Kilombo, Edu-Factory/Uninomade, Counter Cartographies Collective, Notes from Nowhere, and others

Part III: Tuesday, Apr. 28 3:00-7:00pm
The forms of politics: Beyond the Right-Left spectrum
Colectivo Situaciones with Michael Hardt, Walter Mignolo, Eunice Sahle, Graeme Chesters, Yamila Gutiérrez Callisaya, and others

For more information and to RSVP please contact:

Click here for readings

Colectivo Situaciones ( defines itself as a militant research collective. The group emerged from Argentina’s radical student milieu in the mid 1990s and, since then, have developed a long track record of intervention in Argentine social movements. Their books are dialogues with the unemployed workers movement, explorations of the question of power and tactics of struggle, and conversations about how to think about revolution today.
Their radical views pertain to practice as much as theory. They are genuinely a collective and all of their projects are collectively produced.

In a note printed on the back of many of their books, they describe their work as follows:

[We] intend to offer an internal reading of struggles, a phenomenology (a genealogy), not an “objective” description. It is only in this way that thought assumes a creative, affirmative function, and stops being a mere reproduction of the present. And only in this fidelity with the immanence of thought is it a real, dynamic contribution, which is totally contrary to a project or scheme that pigeonholes and overwhelms practice.


SDS, Tancredo, Free Speech and Police Violence

The protests at Tom Tancredo’s speech earlier this week have been getting quit a bit of attention. The “objective” media (including our wonderful DTH) has conveniently forgotten to talk to anyone besides the police and UNC administration.

Read the statement from SDS here
Sign a petition to support the students from SDS here

The use of violence by the police force, including the use of pepper spray and tasers (potentially deadly weapons), should be a cause of concern for everyone on this campus. There needs to be an immediate investigation into the police’s actions and steps taken to ensure students’ safety.

The violent disruption of this protest and the targeting of SDS by the administration and the press is yet another step to delegitimize protest and political action on this campus. Too often, the only speech protected on campus is that of political conservatives (and usually white males) (i.e. people who get heard all the time anyway), while already marginalized voices are not only not listened to, but are violently repressed. Despite his friendly demeanor, Chancellor Thorp seems to be going even further than his predecessor to silence dissent on campus (on top of his response to these events look at his other responses to protests and the decision to press charges against those arrested in the DSP sit-in last spring). We must take steps to maintain students’ rights on this campus – rights to organize, to assemble, and to free speech (for everyone in the campus community – including SDS).


AAG 2009 Report Back: Where have all the pictures gone?

Craig and Liz’s second AAG presentation was on the panel: “Where have all the pictures gone? Visualization and power in political geography”.

A quick summary: after thoroughly deconstructing maps – showing how maps reflect and enact power, construct borders, inflict violence, etc., critical geographers are now unable to produce their own maps. A case of deconstruction gone too far? Does recognizing the always political nature of maps mean that that cartography now lies outside of the realm of academics? It certainly means we can no longer pretend to be disengaged and disinterested intellectuals (as if we ever could!)

Luckily, we don’t have to wait for academic geographers – the combat of the cartographies is on! In our presentation we showed some examples (maps!) of how social movements are engaging cartography. Here are a few:

Aquí viven genocidas by el Grupo de Arte Callejero
Tactical Cartography of the Straits by Hackitectura
A People’s Guide to the RNC

We hope geographers located in academia will follow their example (as many are already!) We know how powerful of a tool maps are – and so does capital and the state – so it’s up to us to make better maps, to map new worlds and new forms of power, to create maps that are more just, more useful and more fun.

AAG 2009 Report Back: Anarchism & Autonomia

Craig and Liz’s first AAG presentation was part of a series of sessions on “Anarchism, Autonomia, and the Spatiality of Revolutionary Politics and Theory”.

Our paper focused on mapping as militant investigation. Here’s our abstract:

Since its founding in 2004, the Counter Cartographies Collective at UNC-Chapel Hill has used different forms of mapping to plot, understand, and prompt alternative ways of seeing and producing spaces and knowledges in the NC Research Triangle Area. This paper lays out the theoretical foundations of the collective and highlights a series of cases that were instructive to the direction of the group. The cartographic intervention we propose constructs mappings in ways that render, through sight, action and communication, a multiplicity of alternative worlds. These ideas stem from the ‘new cartography’ of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, as well as recent cases of activist-mapping in Europe and the United States. Among others, we draw on the work of Precarias a la Deriva in Spain, Bureau d’Etudes in France, Colectivo Situaciones in Argentina – all groups consciously challenging the boundaries between academic research and political action, through their research methods and the products they produce. In our work, we aim to employ miltiant research methodologies that have ranged from a version of the derive to direct action or interventions. In the past four years, the collective worked on a number of different mapping projects, including the “disOrientations” map/guide to UNC-Chapel Hill and investigations of the spaces and organization of knowledge production at Research Triangle Park and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Other presentators discussed their research on anarchist movements/groups, autonomous experiences within/around the university (like the New School occupation!), and anarchist/autonomist theory in general and how it might be applied to geography.

It is exciting to see geographers engaging these concepts and we hope this can become part of a larger conversation about autonomy in the university.